IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI
MATTER NO. IRC 33 OF 2004
BANDA ... . APPLICANT
MALAWI MOTORS LTD. ... RESPONDENT
CORAM: R. Zibelu Banda (Ms); Chairperson
Kanyenda of Counsel for the respondent
Upon going through the court file the court notices that the statement of claim in IRC Form 1 was filed with the court in 2004. This was ten years after the cause of action arose. The Limitations Act provides that claims of the nature as filed by the applicant must be lodged with a court of law within six years of the dispute.
The applicant mentioned that he had tried other forums to resolve the dispute. These other forums did not include a court of law. The Office of the Ombudsman, for instance, is not a court of law, see, Munthali V Cold Storage Company [Matter Number IRC 48 of 2003 (unreported)], where the applicant complained to the Office of the Ombudsman where the matter dragged for almost four years. But the court held that the Office of the Ombudsman is not a court of law.
Similarly, a Human Rights Organisation Office whether created under the Constitution or not is not court of law. Time in the instant case, therefore started running from the date that the cause of action arose in 1994. This action is caught by the Limitations Act. It is statute barred. It is accordingly dismissed.
MADE IN OPEN COURT this 24th day of March 2005 at MZUZU.
R Zibelu Banda (Ms.)