The High Court of Malawi will on August 2 2022 rule on an application by 99 public servants who want to stop State Residences from transferring them to other government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Through their lawyer Luciano Meckeus, the applicants argue that State Residences’ decision to transfer them to other MDAs was not fair because they were not consulted on the matter.
The applicants further argue that they applied for State Residences jobs and not MDAs, saying if there are transfers, they are supposed to be transferred within State Residences.
Said Meckeus: “Employees are protected by the Constitution under Labour Fair Practices. So, we feel like the treatment which the claimants have been subjected to is not fair.”
But in his submission, Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, who is the defendant in the matter, raised a number of objections to the application for injunction.
He, among others, argued that the Industrial Relations Court (IRC) already made its determination on the matter and that the only way the High Court could have heard the matter was for the applicants to file an appeal.
Nyirenda further said the applicants are civil servants and that they cannot choose when and where to be transferred to.
He said: “When you are talking about a civil servant, a civil servant is employed by the Civil Service Commission and not by that particular department or institution. He belongs to a family of civil service.”
Presiding High Court Judge Chimbizgani Kacheche has since reserved his ruling to August 2 2022.
The applicants’ decision follows a memo from the Office the President and Cabinet, issued on May 22 2022, on the transfer of about 136 employees from State Residences to other MDAs.
The employees, some of whom joined State Residences in 1992 during the Kamuzu Banda regime, include security officers, gardeners, cooks, housekeepers, hospital attendants and teachers at Kamuzu Palace Community Day Secondary School in Lilongwe.