Nali v Bata Shoe Company (IRC 298 of 2002 ) (298 of 2002) [2006] MWIRC 57 (12 May 2006);

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IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI


PRINCIPAL REGISTRY


MATTER NO. IRC 298 OF 2002


BETWEEN


NALI….…….……………………………………………… ……………...APPLICANT


-and-


BATA SHOE COMPANY.……………………………... ……………..RESPONDENT


CORAM: R. Zibelu Banda; Chairperson
Nyirenda; of Counsel for the Respondent
Applicant; present
Chinkudzu; Official Interpreter

JUDGMENT

Dismissal-Justification-Reason-Misconduct-Shortage-Unexplained-Procedure-Right to be heard-Explanation not convincing-Dismissal fair.


Facts

Upon hearing the applicant and upon hearing the respondent the court finds that the applicant admitted that he had incurred a shortage. He explained that the shortage was incurred due to a faulty scale. When the scale was tested in the presence of the applicant it was found that the scale did not have any problems or that if it had any problems the problem was not the reason for the shortage as there was no connection between the faulty scale and the shortage incurred.


In enterprises where profit making is the core business, unexplained shortages are not acceptable. This court has held in numerous cases that unexplained shortages are ground for dismissal, see for example: Chimwala V Peoples Trading Centre [Matter Number IRC 259/ 2002 (unreported)].


The Law

The applicant was given an opportunity to explain his side and defend himself. The court finds that the respondent had valid reasons for dismissal, the main reason being incurring shortage without valid explanation. The respondent complied with the law by affording the applicant the opportunity to be heard and to defend himself before he was dismissed: Section 57 (1) and (2) of the Employment Act. Therefore this action on unfair dismissal is dismissed in its entirety.



Any party aggrieved by this decision is at liberty to appeal to the High Court 30 days from this date and in accordance with section 65(2) of the Labour Relations Act.



Pronounced in Open Court this 12th day of May 2006 at Blantyre.



Rachel Zibelu Banda

CHAIRPERSON.