MR. A.M.C. BANDA……………………………………….APPLICANT
CENTRAL EAST AFRICAN RAILWAYS…………RESPONDENTS
CORAM: HON. M.C.C. MKANDAWIRE, CHAIRMAN
Applicant – Present
Respondent – Present (Represented by Counsel Kalima)
Davie Mpakani – Official Interpreter
Matters in Issue : Unfair termination of services and withholding transport money.
On the 2nd of January, 2002 the Applicant Angel M.C. Banda filed this case against the Respondents who are Central, East African Railways (C.E.A.R.). In his Statement of Claim, the Applicant raised trade disputes of unfair termination of employment and withholding of his transport money. He further prayed for the relief of transport from Lilongwe to Mzimba and compensation for unfair termination. The Respondents denied the allegation made by the Applicant saying that he was not at all entitled to transport allowance.
Survey of Evidence
The Respondents confirmed most of what the Applicant had told this Court. They however said that as per the appointment letter which is Applicant Ex No.2, they were entitled to what they did by dispensing with the services of the Applicant forthwith as he was still on probation. In relation to the claims the Applicant was demanding, Mr. Kamange who is the Human Resources Manager told the Court that the Applicant was not entitled to them at all. He further elaborated that after Malawi Railways was bought off by the Respondents, all the former employees with Malawi Railways were paid their dues for their previous services and the Applicant was one of them. The witness tendered in Court several documents including cheques as evidence that the Applicant was paid his dues. The witness further told the Court that there was nothing that the Applicant is owed and that some money was paid through officials who literally went to deliver the cash to him as he was bed ridden. Upon termination of service, the Respondents paid the Applicant his pension refund and all other necessary money that he was entitled to as a probationer.
The Court has looked at the evidence on record. It is settled as a fact that the Applicant was a probationer when he met his fate. It is again settled as a fact that one of the conditions while on probation was that the Applicant’s employment could be dispensed with forthwith. It is again settled as a fact that the Respondents invoked that clause and dispensed with his services. From the documentary evidence that surfaced in this Court, the Applicant was paid all that was due to him. The Applicant accepted all this money. His argument that the initials were wrong ones does not really impress me in view of the surrounding evidence. If the initials on the termination letter were not his, one wonders as to why he received the money. The Respondents told this Court that the mix up in the initials and number were just as a result of a clerical error. Otherwise the Applicant was the one whose employment was terminated. The Court found that the mixture in initials does not really go to the roots of this case because fundamentally, the surname and other initials were for him.
In relation to is claim on transport, I am afraid to say that the conditions of appointment on probation do not warrant him to get transport to his home. Moreover, he is now at work in Blantyre. One wonders how he would be operating from Mzimba with his employment in Blantyre. I find that the Applicant’s claims have got no foundation at all and I do dismiss them in their entirely.
DELIVERED this 12th day of July 2002 at Lilongwe.