IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI
MATTER NO. IRC 290 OF 2005
CHITIMBE & ANOTHER. APPLICANTS
COMPASS II PROJECT .. . RESPONDENT
- CORAM: RACHEL ZIBELU BANDA (MS); CHAIRPERSON
- MRN PADAMBO; EMPLOYEES PANELIST
- D NAMANDWA; EMPLOYERS PANELIST
Kapezi; of Counsel for the
- Applicant; present
- Chinkudzu; Official Interpreter
- Applicant; present
Procedure-Right to be heard-Right to defend oneself-Must be fair
The applicant was dismissed for his involvement in fraudulent transaction while working as Driver. He was given funds to use for his accommodation while working out of station. He misused some of these funds and produced a fraudulent receipt to cover up his misconduct. He was invited to a hearing. After the hearing the respondent summarily dismissed him from employment. He challenged the dismissal alleging that the reason was not valid. The respondent on the other hand averred that the dismissal was fair. The reason was fair and the applicant was given an opportunity to be heard
- The Law
The Employment Act provides that an employer is entitled to dismiss summarily an employee guilty of serious misconduct inconsistent with the fulfillment of the expressed or implied conditions of his contract of employment such that it would be unreasonable to require the employer to continue the employment relationship, see section 59 of the Employment Act. It has been held in this court that fraud is an act misconduct warranting summary dismissal; see Matsatsa v Stanbic Bank Ltd [Matter Number IRC 198 of 2005 (unreported)]IRC.
In the instant case the applicant tried to show that he was not involved in the fraud. The respondent however showed that the applicant while on duty out of station prepared and produced a fraudulent receipt to cover up misuse of funds. The applicants explanation that his bill was inflated because he spent the night with his girlfriend was unjustified. In any case the respondent was not paying for the applicants girlfriend and therefore the applicant could not use the respondents funds for that purpose without authority.
The reason for dismissal was valid and process before dismissal was fair. The court therefore finds that the dismissal was fair. This action is dismissed in its entirety.
Any party aggrieved by this decision is at liberty to appeal to the High Court within 30 days of this judgment.
Made this 31st day of December 2007 at Blantyre.
Rachel Zibelu Banda
Maxwell RN Padambo
EMPLOYEES MEMBER PANELIST
EMPLOYERS MEMBER PANELIST