THE HIGH COURT OF MALAWI
CAUSE NO. 9 OF 2001
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
HONOUR, M.C.C. MKANDAWIRE
Mr. Ngwira of Counsel for the plaintiff
Chisi Official Interpreter
R U L I N G
is an assessment of damages following a default judgment, which the
plaintiff herein obtained against the defendant on the
of May 2001. The defendant did not attend the assessment of damages
in spite of proof of service of the notice to assess damages.
therefore went ahead to assess the damages in the absence of the
defendant. The damages I have to assess only relate to arrears
salary, which the defendant is holding on behalf of the plaintiff.
brief facts of the case are that the plaintiff was working as a
poultry attendant in the Department of Veterinary in the Ministry
Agriculture. He was based at Choma Livestock Centre in Mzuzu. In
the year 1998, the plaintiff was arrested on allegations
into a building and committing an offence of theft therein. He was
brought before a Court of Law and finally acquitted
by the Court on
the 6th of October
1998. It is his evidence that the defendant has not reinstated him
in spite of his acquittal. He therefore sued the
defendant so that
they give him back his job plus the salary they withheld and are
still withholding up to now since this case
would like to put it on record that I do not subscribe to the
philosophy that an acquittal in criminal proceedings means automatic
reinstatement. If the employer now the defendant has any
justification, they can still terminate the services of the
But here is a case whereby the plaintiff has sued the
defendant so that the defendant gives him back his job since the
interdiction was the alleged offence. The defendant has not
put up any defence. A default judgment was entered in favour of the
plaintiff. Indeed, if the defendant had any defence, they could have
come to defend the matter. When the matter came up for assessment,
again the defendant stayed away. I have no option therefore but to
award the plaintiff the arrears of salary as claimed for.
looked at the computation made by the plaintiff. The plaintiff was
interdicted whilst receiving K730 per month in October
between October 1998 to October 1999 his salary arrears are K9,490.
From November 2000 to August 2001 the arrears
are K7,300-00. In
total, therefore, the salary arrears are K25,550-00. I thus do award
the plaintiff the sum of K25,550-00 plus
costs of this action.
at Mzuzu this 4th
day of September 2001.