‘Over 19,000 cases crying for tribunal compensation’- Ombudsman

Lilongwe, The Office of the Ombudsman says it has over 19, 000 compensation claims from Malawians who did not get their dues by the time the National Compensation closed down.

The revelation comes at a time when Ex-Malawi Young Pioneers are holding vigils at the War Memorial Tower in Lilongwe to force government to pay retirement packages.

Public Relations Officer for Ombudsman Arthur Semba said this in an interview with Malawi News Agency on Thursday in Lilongwe.

”Government closed NCT office before it concluded the cases it had received. Our office collected over 23, 000 files from the courts and Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC). The files revel that 19,000 cases were still crying for justice at the time of closure,” Semba said.

He said the complaints were lodged within the lifespan of the tribunal but it shut down before it could settle them.

Semba said the lapse of the 10 years cannot be a basis for denying compensation to the complainants because it was the failure of the tribune to settle the cases within the mandated time.

The Ombudsman office has engaged the office of the Attorney General, the Registrar of the High Court, former Chairpersons of NCT, MHRC and some complainants to ensure that justice is rendered once and for all, according to Semba.

The National Compensation Tribunal was an institution created by Section 137 of the 1994 Constitution and was mandated to entertain claims of alleged victimisation under the atrocities of the one-party state before the dawn of democracy in 1994.

Section 145 of the then constitution mandated the tribunal to carry its activities and wind them up within 10 years from 1994 to 2004.

After the closure of the tribunal, complaints of unsettled compensation claims started flooding the Ombudsman office, according to Semba.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA