Attorney General (AG) Chikusa Silungwe has said former chief secretary to the government produced a badly drafted contract of employment for former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor Dalitso Kubambe.
The revelations come at a time Kabambe is demanding K2.3 billion from the central bank for unlawful and unfair dismissal.
In an application, filed on March 29 by lawyers T.F and Partners and classified as matter number IRC LL156 of 2021, Kabambe claims that, during his term as governor, he was entitled to remuneration of K30, 243, 023 per month, comprising K25, 697,042 as basic salary, K1,067,156.98 as transport allowance, K550,939.56 as domestic allowance and K2, 927,884.62 as board allowance.
Malawi News has seen a copy of the AG’s legal opinion on whether terminal benefits on “illegal contract” were payable to the former RBM governor, dated August 20 2020, in which Silungwe observes that the secondment of Kabambe was mishandled.
Silungwe faults the then chief secretary to the government Lloyd Muhara for sidelining the office of the AG when drafting the employment contract for Kabambe.
In his legal opinion, he recommends that terminal benefits are payable to Kabambe under the contract of employment he entered into with the government as RBM governor.
“The current salary structure applicable to the executive management shall be used in calculating these terminal benefits,” he opines.
Silungwe has advised sitting secretaries to the President and Cabinet to be involving the AG’s office when faced with similar circumstances.
Apart from the issues of transport, domestic and board allowances, Kabambe is demanding other things.
Kabambe, who was fired on July 7 last year, says the K2.3 billion is his entitlement in form of salary and benefits for the remainder of his term from April 21 2017 to April 20 2028.
In addition, Kabambe is claiming pension benefits for the period between 1997 and April 21 2017, severance pay for serving Malawi Government, notice pay for serving Malawi Government, pension benefits for serving the Malawi Government and payment of terminal benefits and gratuity for the period between 1998 and April 2017.
He is also claiming the sum of K604,860,463.20 as damages for being stopped from finishing the terms; the sum of K1,814,581,389.60 as damages for a further five-year term that will have run from 2022 to 2028, and an order that RBM pay loss of motor vehicle BU 9606.
According to the application, President Lazarus Chakwera appointed Wilson Banda as RBM Governor on July 7 2020 when Kabambe’s contract was subsisting.
Kabambe says, on July 17 2020, Secretary to the President and Cabinet wrote him, advising him of his de-secondment back to the Civil Service.
Meanwhile, Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency Executive Director Willy Kambwandira has lamented poorly drafted government contracts, saying they are intentionally done to defraud Malawians of their hard earned taxes.
“You will be amazed to learn about the number of contracts that were poorly drafted and the government was forced to pay billions in compensation. The reality is that this is a well calculated move by some crooked officers in the Civil Service who connive to defraud the government.
“How should a public officer draft a contract without getting them reviewed by the office of Attorney General? “ Kambwandira queried.
Kambwandira has since called for placement of personal accountability on government officers who are involved in the malpractice which, he said, was draining the government’s financial resources.