LILONGWE (Malawi NewsNow) -Ms Matilda Katopola has told the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) that she is “ jobless, penniless and going through a lot of psychological torture” following her forced leave in 2012 and subsequent dismissal as Clerk of Parliament.
Katopola sued the Malawi government for constructive dismissal and the court found government to be at fault and will sit Friday for assessment hearing .
“Considering the position which I held together with the conditions, political sensitiveness and benefits attached to the post, it will be impossible for me to secure an alternative permanent employment at that level.
“I am jobless, penniless and going through a lot of psychological torture due to the damage the respondent has caused to my public image after serving selflessly with commitment and dedication though under political pressure and intimidation,” reads her witness statement submitted to court.
According to Katopola’s summary of benefits for 10 years, interdiction period is pegged at K71 million ($142 000) from February 1 2015 to January 31 2020.
She is also demanding K311 million and from February 1 2020 to January 31 2025, Katopola is seeking over K361 million ($722 000).
Further, Katopola said her dismissal followed with an arrest on “which was politically motivated “, saying government is still pursuing the criminal charges ,“a factor that has made it impossible for me to mitigate my loss.”
The first female CoP, Katopola faced criminal charges relating to the K87 000 ($174) tender award to her personal company, Monick Trends, for printing and binding services.
Between June 2012 and October 2014, government paid Katopola an estimated K17 million ($34 000).
At the time she was sent on forced leave pending termination of her services in May 2012, Katopola was getting a monthly salary of K736 752 ($1 473.50) plus benefits, according to documents earlier seen by media.
Her other benefits included an institutional vehicle, fuel and school fees for her children.
She continued to get this salary until she was interdicted on half pay in June 2013.