Mwachande v Pep Africa Pty Ltd (IRC223 of 20022 ) (223 of 20022) [2006] MWIRC 71 (13 June 2006);

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IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI


PRINCIPAL REGISTRY


MATTER NO. IRC 223 OF 2002


BETWEEN


MWACHANDE……………………………… ……………...APPLICANT


-and-


PEP AFRICA (PTY) LTD………………………………..RESPONDENT


CORAM: R. Zibelu Banda, Chairperson

Applicant; Present

Respondent; Absent without excuse

Nyabanga; Official Interpreter


JUDGMENT

Dismissal- Justification-Reason-Misconduct-Dishonesty-Failure to account-Procedure-Right to be heard.


Upon hearing the applicant and in the absence of the respondent to provide any evidence to the contrary, the court finds that the applicant was accused of failing to account for some shortage. He was working as Shop Assistant responsible among other things for custody of cash. At the material time the applicant was in custody of K1 600.00. When he was called upon to produce it by management the applicant could not. The applicant was invited for a hearing so that he could explain the whereabouts of the money. The applicant failed to make a plausible explanation and could not produce the money. The respondent found this as a basis for dismissal.

Incurring shortages without any proper explanation has been held to constitute fair reason for termination, see: Mbalangwe V People’s Trading Centre [Matter Number IRC 164/2001 (unreported)].


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 respondents complied with the law by affording the applicant the opportunity to be heard and defend himself before he was dismissed: See, 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 has the right of appeal to the High Court within 30 days of this decision. Appeal lies only on matters of law and jurisdiction and not facts: Section 65 (2) of the Labour Relations Act.


Pronounced in Open Court this 13th day of June 2006 at BLANTYRE.



Rachel Zibelu Banda

CHAIRPERSON.