THE High Court in Blantyre on Tuesday threw out an application for judicial review on the merger of Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Television Malawi (TVM), saying the application "is incompetent".
One hundred and forty eight employees of MBC and TVM who were either redeployed or dismissed during the merger had early this year challenged the process through their lawyer Bob Chimkango, arguing it was procedurally illegal.
But the defendants who were MBC and the Attorney General (Minister of Statutory Corporation), through their lawyer, Victor Jere, argued the merger issues were not amenable to judicial review and the applicants had no interest in it.
In his determination, presiding judge Healy Potani dismissed the application in his draft ruling, saying the issues raised are purely employment matters suitable for the Industrial Relations Court.
"The matter in its entirety, that is both on the relevant law and the facts, tends to show that while the applicants may be entitled to complain about the effect of the merger on the respective employments with the first respondent [MBC], they have no standing to question the procedure leading to the merger.
"The court would conclude that the matter in respect of the applicants seeking judicial review is purely an employment one involving private law rights with no trappings of public law and therefore ought not to be entertained," reads part of Potani's ruling.
The matter has since been dismissed with costs to the respondents.
All orders which were obtained by the applicants basing on the proceedings in this matter have also been set aside.
This, according to Jere, means that all the employees who were reinstated by the court pending the outcome of this matter are effectively fired again or remain redeployed on top of not getting their monthly salaries since the reinstatement in December.
Chimkango could not be reached on his mobile phone to comment on the development.