Hawkings Munthali v Mobil Oil (MW) Ltd (MATTER NO. 53 OF 2001) (NULL) [2002] MWIRC 37 (07 August 2002);

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IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI

LILONGWE REGISTRY

MATTER NO. 53 OF 2001


BETWEEN:



HAWKINGS MUNTHALI…………………………………APPLICANT

and

MOBIL OIL (MW) LIMITED…………………………RESPONDENT



CORAM:   HON. M.C.C. MKANDAWIRE, CHAIRMAN
                  Applicant – Absent
                  Respondent – Present (Represented by Mr. P. Nkhono
                                   of Counsel)
                  Davie Mpakani – Official Interpreter


R U L I N G

         This matter was set down for hearing for today the 7th of August 2002. This date was communicated to both parties on the 12th of July 2002 when the two parties had come for a hearing which could not take place. The Applicant is not available today and no good cause is shown as to why he is absent. Such being the case, I ordered that counsel should address the Court in the absence of the Applicant.

         The Respondent’s Counsel in this matter has raised a preliminary legal point. This is in relation to the issue that the cause of action herein is statute barred.

         In reinforcing his argument, Counsel has addressed the Court’s mind towards Section 4(1)(a) of the Statute of Limitation which provides that matters of contract (a contract of employment included) should be brought before the Court within 6 years from the date of the matter arose.

         In this present case, the Applicant is claiming for unpaid wages between 1990-1994. Thus from 1994 to October 2001 when the Applicant herein filed the matter with this Court, more than 6 years have elapsed hence the matter being said to be statute barred.

         As I have already stated, the Applicant was not around to respond to this application. The matter has thus not been controverted. Proceeding on the available information that has been laid down by Counsel, this Court is indeed satisfied that the matter herein is statute barred and thus not capable of being prosecuted in the Courts of this country.

         The Court therefore orders that this matter be dismissed. Each party to meet its costs.

         MADE this 7th day of August 2002 at Lilongwe.






M.C.C. Mkandawire
HON. CHAIRMAN