Matsatsa v Stannic Bank (IRC 198 of 2005 ) (198 of 2005) [2007] MWIRC 75 (31 December 2007);

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IN THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COURT OF MALAWI


PRINCIPAL REGISTRY


MATTER NO. IRC 198 OF 2005


BETWEEN


MATSATSA………………..…………………………………………… APPLICANT


-and-


STANBIC BANK LTD………………….…………………………… RESPONDENT



CORAM: RACHEL ZIBELU BANDA (MS); CHAIRPERSON
MRN PADAMBO; EMPLOYEES’ PANELIST
D NAMANDWA; EMPLOYERS’ PANELIST
Madise; for the Applicant
Mwagomba; of Counsel for the Respondent
Chinkudzu; Official Interpreter


JUDGMENT

  1. Dismissal-Reason-Misconduct-Fraud

  2. Procedure-Right to be heard-Right to defend oneself-Must be fair


Facts

The applicant was dismissed for his involvement in fraudulent transactions perpetrated in his department that led to loss of funds amounting MK 257 789-39 for the respondent bank. The applicant was invited to a hearing where he explained his side and defended himself. The applicant was dismissed after this hearing. The disciplinary committee found that the applicant along with his other colleague who was also dismissed was involved in the fraud. The applicant challenged the dismissal alleging that the reason was not substantiated. He basically tried to show that he was not involved in the fraud.


The Law

The Employment Act in section 59 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. It has been held in this court that fraud is an act misconduct warranting summary dismissal; see generally Asson v Securicor (Mw) Ltd [Matter Number IRC 60 of 2001 (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 was on duty and he worked on the fraudulent transactions on the material day. They further showed that the applicant signed the register against the fraudulent transactions as confirmation that he had worked on them. The fraud further led to the applicant because he was the only employee in the department at the material time who was over familiar with the family that benefited from the fraud. The explanation of the applicant at the disciplinary hearing was not convincing, hence the dismissal. The court found no compelling reason to interfere with the decision of the respondent.


Finding

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

CHAIRPERSON



Maxwell RN Padambo

EMPLOYEES’ MEMBER PANELIST



Daphter Namandwa

EMPLOYERS’ MEMBER PANELIST