A former chief education officer in the Ministry of General Education has sued the State and the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) in the Lusaka High Court, demanding for an order that his termination of service before his preferred retirement age, is premature, malicious and wrongful.
Peter Kakoma Kasaji has alleged that the TSC, acting on behalf of the President, had retired him in July this year from the civil service in national interest before his preferred age of retirement.
In a statement of claim filed in the Lusaka High Court, Wednesday, Kasaji, who has sued the Attorney General Likando Kalaluka as the first defendant and TSC as second defendant, stated that prior to his purported retirement, he was a civil servant working as Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of General Education.
He stated that he entered the civil service as a teacher in 1985 where he served in various capacities until July 6, 2018.
Kasaji stated that in November, 2014, government passed a Statutory Instrument, being Public Service Regulations, in which it revised the retirement age for public service workers to either 55 years early retirement, 60 years normal retirement or 65 years late retirement.
He stated that in 2017, he was given together with other public service employees, ‘staff returns forms’ to complete where they were required to indicate the retirement option one desired to retire at, and he indicated the normal retirement age.
“The plaintiff indicated the normal retirement, 60 years, as his preferred age of retirement,” read the statement of claim.
Kasaji disclosed that on July 6, 2018, he received a letter from the Permanent Secretary for Administration captioned ‘staff retirement in the national interest’, which was ‘wrongly’ addressed to him.
“On July 6, 2018, the plaintiff received a letter from the Permanent Secretary for Administration in the Ministry of General Education. The said letter was wrongly addressed to the plaintiff as Chief Curriculum Specialist [assistant director] when in fact he had been transferred to the Department of Teacher Education and Specialist Services as Chief Education Officer [Assistant Director],” further read the statement of claim.
He stated that he was informed in the same letter that TSC, acting on behalf of the President, had retired him from the civil service in national interest with effect on July 6, 2018.
Kasaji stated that he had neither been offered another appointment in the public service, nor had he been informed of the government policy pursuant to which the Teaching Service Commission had retired him.
He stated that his purported retirement was premature, malicious and, thereby, making the termination of his service wrongful.
Kasaji lamented that as the result of the premature retirement, he had lost remunerations, benefits and privileges he would have received and enjoyed, had he worked up to his preferred age of retirement.
He now claims for an order and declaration that his purported termination of service is premature, malicious and wrongful.
Kasaji is further claiming for compensation and damages equal to the remunerations he would have received in the remainder of his contract of service, an order that his pension be calculated as though he had retired at the age of 60 years, damages for mental strain and anguish, as well as costs.