The Industrial Relations Court (IRC) in Blantyre Tuesday heard that the current Malawi National Football Team Coach Mario Marian Marinica receives about K13 million monthly while former Flames coach Meck Mwase was entitled to about K1.3 million.
The court also heard that another former Flames Belgian coach Ronny van Geneugden was pocketing K7.5 million each during his spell with the team between 2017 and 2019.
Ironically, both foreign coaches were also entitled to $4,000 (about K4 million) each leave grant while Mwase’s entitlement was less than K200,000.
The disclosure came after the IRC dismissed an application by Football Association of Malawi (Fam) to set aside an order requiring the association to disclose recruitment and remuneration packages for Marinica and Geneugden.
During cross-examination, Mwase’s lawyer David Kanyenda took Fam General Secretary Alfred Gunda to task over the manner his client was dismissed, saying he only learned about his axing through the media.
After the hearing, Kanyenda was satisfied with how court proceedings went.
“We reminded them that Mwase was, first of all, wrongly fired as he was never summoned for hearing and ended up knowing about his dismissal through the press which Gunda also conceded during cross-examination.
“We also reminded Fam that it is Fam who offered Mwase the job as head coach on 17 April 2019 before directing him to the government,” he said.
Kanyenda said his client, Mwase, was denied revenue in allowances and game bonuses during the time the Flames participated in the 2023 Afcon qualifiers against Ethiopia and Guinea.
He also said Mwase did not get anything from the senior team’s participation in the Cosafa tournament in South Africa and Chan games against Mozambique.
“We are also of the view that Mwase was ill-treated and exposed to an unfair labour practice when his fellow coaches were put on a higher salary, about eight times more than him, when all of them were on the same position— that of national football team head coach,” Kanyenda said.
Gunda reacted by saying the difference in remuneration was as a result of circumstances that led to the appointment of the coaches without giving details.
“It is surprising that Mwase wants to get exactly what the other coaches were getting when he is fully aware that matters of contract are private and vary from one person to another.
“On the loss of revenue in travel allowances, we only pay people the allowance when they make the trip, which was not the case with Mwase. As regards to Mr Mwase’s redeployment, the executive was of the feeling that he needed to be capacitated, hence redeploying him to Under-23,” he said.
The Fam GS also told the court Mwase signed a contract with the government and not the national football governing body.
Gunda also said that Mwase was not the first Malawian coach to be recommended to go to the government by Fam having done so with other coaches.
The defence is claiming about K500 million in damages for unlawful dismissal and loss of revenue during the time Mwase was redeployed to Under-23.
Mwase is also contesting the package for VIP Life Insurance which the foreign coaches get and also K4 million leave grant.
He is also claiming annual free return air ticket to any destination in the world which others were getting.
Lawyer Louis Ulaya is representing Fam.
IRC Deputy Chairperson Edina Bodole has asked both parties to make final submissions in 21 days.
Bodole has adjourned the case to March next year when she is expected to make a ruling.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.