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Court rebuffs suspended Mera boss on benefits

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The Industrial Relations Court (IRC) has dismissed an application by suspended Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Raphael Kamoto, who wants the energy regulatory body to continue giving him all his benefits.

Kamoto applied for stay of a decision to suspend him over the use of about K3 billion from the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) to purchase maize for the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc).

He was suspended on October 1 2016 and sought court relief on December 16 the same year.

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In the application, Kamoto wanted the court to grant him a stay of Mera’s decision to suspend him on half pay and restore all the benefits that accrue to him until full determination of the matter.

The ruling dated January 20, 2017 was made by IRC Deputy Chairperson, Chimwemwe Kamowa.

“It is on record… that the applicant has not handed over to the respondent a Toyota Land Cruiser, BU 727 and a Samsung Tablet. In essence he is still enjoying some of the benefits under his contract. For these reasons, I dismiss the motion,” the ruling reads.

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Through lawyer Chikosa Silungwe, Kamoto argued that his suspension breached rules of natural justice as he had not appeared before any disciplinary committee of the authority prior to the decision to suspend him.

Kamoto also argued that the suspension on half pay breaches his conditions of service.

However, Mera’s lawyer, Gabriel Chembezi, argued that Kamoto did not go to court with clean hands because he defied the order that he should return to Mera his official vehicle and the Sumsung Tablet.

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