Staff complain over racist boss at First Merchant Bank 

First Merchant Bank (FMB) staff members are bitterly complaining over racist attacks on fellow members of staff especially from credit department by one of the top managers at the bank, Kobus Louw.

Mr Kobus Louw accused of being racist

Nyasa Times can reveal that Louw, an expatriate from South Africa has been abusing staff members from the credit department by calling them unpalatable names and shouting at them as if they are kids.

“Enough is enough and if we are going to let this man continue racially abusing us, then nothing will stop him and that is why we are mobilizing ourselves to stage a strike until he is removed from the bank,” said one of the bankers .

Louw, Group General Manager for Credit at FMB is said to have been using abusive words like ‘stupid’, ‘bul’, ‘bullshit’ and ‘monkey’ almost every day on staff members.

Nobody has reported this to responsible authorities for fear of reprisals as he is very senior and is in good books with the owner of the bank Hitesh Anadikat.

“A number of managers in the department have left the Bank not in search of greener pastures but running away from this evil man.

“In 2015 when he had just joined the Bank, a very senior member of the department resigned because of the abusive language of this South African,” said another source from the bank that collaborated the story.

“In 2016 three Credit Managers also resigned because they had enough of his abusive language from him. In January and April 2017, two Credit Managers have also left the Bank because of the mistreatment of the same boss. Some of these managers are still jobless as they left the Bank because of abuse and not for other jobs. He undermines the knowledge and skills of black managers,” wrote one Julius Zimwanda Mithi on his Facebook wall a few days ago confirming what our source had confided in us.

“The remaining four Credit Managers in the department are still there not by choice but they have nowhere to go. They are suffering in silence. They can also not report the kind of abuse they are subjected to for fear of the obvious.”

“Managers are normally treated like they are working at his residence in South Africa as domestic workers not as professionals. Some of them have got Bachelors and Masters degrees in various fields. Nobody wants to work under his department,” added Mithi.

President Peter Mutharika has since warned and threatened to deport any foreign employer who failed to respect Malawian employees at their work places in the country.

He said this during a meeting with the delegation of the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.

Mutharika underscored that employers should learn to respect their employees.

“Any foreign employer who mistreats Malawians in any way, will be sent out of this country, as long as I am President of the country,” cautioned Mutharika.

Racism is an evil which destroys harmony in multi-racial societies

The FMB  workers, who have been fighting for better working conditions including ‘ludicrously’ low salaries have vowed to go on with their strike until the bank addresses their concerns including the issue of low salaries.

A few months ago, salaries for employees were leaked which showed how the bank exploits its workers by paying them peanuts.

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26 thoughts on “Staff complain over racist boss at First Merchant Bank ”

  1. Joe says:

    A one-sided story destroys the credibility of it all. On the other hand, why do the victims fail to report abuse to relevant authorities? Let’s be a little mature guys. Failure to report means we accept it. Who is to blame? Not the guy

  2. Chamakala says:

    It only takes someone who has worked with these Afrikaans to appreciate how devlish and racist they are. Some of you are just backing him up because you have never been exposed to nkhanza za amfiti amenewa. FmB employees are better to explain. Though I have never met this racist, he belongs to the apartheid era for sure.

  3. winston msowoya says:

    What is the difference between RACISM and TRIBALISM? Tribalism means someone hates someone because of his ethnical affiliations or background,while Racism means someone hates the other because of the colour of his/her skin.Amwenye and Whites both hate us and look down upon us because of our colour in our own country,is that fair? The Southerners and Central Malawians hate the Northerners for reasons best known to themselves.It is from this scenario that the Amwenyes and Whites take the platform and courage to dehumanise us all. Is the quota system that affects only the Northerners a fair game? Is that not hatred emanating from tribalism? Why now condemning Whites and Asians for segregating Malawians massively? The people of the South and Central Malawi now feel the pinch because the Whites and Asians do not spare them,do you now feel what it means when you tribalistically hate and abuse the HINYAS your own brothers and sisters whom you have lived together for thousands of years peacefully.

  4. Jennipher says:

    I was so shocked seeing a salary paged for a certain very proud woman in the bank SHA!!!!!
    but the woman wodzimvatu and yet she gets K97.457.00 before tax???

  5. Lutematishy says:

    Dear ALL
    I read the article of FMB with very keen interest and also noted that sometimes the problem is not with expatriates but our government and some employees too who surrounds such cruel bosses always are forefront of such will manners.
    I do not really understand this term tax holidays given to these thieves who always come to Malawi and thereafter close or sell their companies with an excuse that there is no business in the country and the Government just looks at them go.Rubbish

  6. bulutu says:

    Mistakes are made but how your boss talks to you when that happens is what matters. If a name like “Monkey” is used by your boss regardless of what has happened then it is off side. I saw a junior kicking his boss because he used bad language on him and several employees cheered including myself and never bothered to rescue the boss. He was a local boss, so why bother with foreigner?
    This is a lesson that we need to form our own companies through shareholding and avoid the so called expatriates flooding the country being brought by investors. Let Government grant tax holidays to local Malawian companies to form companies and not to foreign investors who leap our resources and disappear after making profits within the tax holiday. They later tell us there is no business!!!! WHAT!!!!

  7. Dodolido says:

    Guys start you own bank. Malawians, you expect to be employees and be a free person. Work up. Work is slavery.

  8. Becks says:

    Most Indians owning shops are worst. Many malawi labourers just suffer in silence

  9. Thyolo Thava says:

    Vuto ndi amwenye…Apa pali chani….

  10. Nukah says:

    Frankly speaking Kobus Louw is the worst expatriate in terms of racism as far as my experience as an FMB customer is concerned. If the government is indeed serious about development of local businesses, this guy MUST pack up and go immediately.

    MCTU, ACB, Malawi Police Service & concerned NGOs pick it up from there now other than later.

  11. Uncle Phalombe says:

    LET’S NOT RUSH WITH JUDGEMENT HERE. INVESTIGATIONS FIRST! IT COULD BE TRUE OR JUST PROPAGANDA BY FELLOW MANAGERS VYING FOR HIS POST.

  12. Kilowe says:

    The guy is not only racist but stone heartedvas well. There is no Malawian businessman banking with FMB who has never complained about him as far as credit services are concerned. He really must go in the interest of the employees and customers of the bank.

    As pointed out in the article, the foreigner has good ties with the owner of the bank, this means that our hope has to be banked on the intervention of the government. A boma taonetsani chikondi chanu kwa anthu anu like you recently did with the German.

  13. JOHN MALIKEBU says:

    JFM ndi maso a boma ndipo ndi massive. BOMA SILIPHETIRA.

    JFM = KATUNDU MUZITO WOMANGA NDIMAWAYA
    JFM = KASI APA NATUKA
    JFM = BOMA SILIPHETIRA
    JFM = SIMBI YA MOTO PALA WAYIKOLA TGATU
    JFM = NEWS LEADER
    JFM = IS THE LEADER AS FAR AS MALAWI JOURNALISM IS CONCERNED
    JFM = NAMISA 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 AWARD WINNER
    JFM = CALLING THE CAT BY ITS REAL COLOURS
    JFM = TELLING THE NEWS BIT BY BIT UNDILUTED

    JFM KEEP THE FIRE BURNING!!!

  14. Meke says:

    Go on strike for his deportation. What is wrong with you Malawians.

  15. PRIM K. TUMURAMYE says:

    H.E. PETER ARTHUR MUTHARIKA, IN YOU WE TRUST PLEASE DEPORT
    THIS KOBUS LOW AS YOU DID WITH THE GERMANY ENGINEER
    CONSTRUCTING NKHATA-BAY ROAD. 24HRS SHOULD BE ENOUGH.

    NEXT LET YOUR GOVT HARMONIZE GOOD SALARY PERKS AT FMB AS ITS
    THE 3 LARGEST BANK IN MALAWI, NOW IT’S IN PROCESS OF BUYING
    BARCLAYS BANK IN ZIMBABWE YET IT IS PAYING ITS EMPLOYEES PEANUTS.

    NEXT DHEERAJ DIKSHIT FMB GROUP CEO BEWARE AS YOU ARE ALSO
    ANOTHER MASTER MINDER

  16. Poche says:

    Mr. President, we urgently require your action on this matter if your words are anything to be trusted. As corporate customers for the bank, our businesses are on the verge of collapsing due to his racist system of running the credit department.

    Local Media Houses, Law Enforcement Bodies, MCTU and concerned NGOs – Nyasatimes has thrown an urgent matter into your pending baskets for your immediate actions. Let him go where he can freely abuse people left, right and centre if his Hitesh Anadkat can’t transfer him to his house.

  17. JB says:

    For every disgruntled or underperforming employee his boss isa racist person now. Thanks to media which unnecessarily hypes the issue and does the media trial. As society it is not a healthy sign.

  18. zako izo says:

    Vuto lathu ndichani aMalawi taonani anthu kusiya nkumakavutika chifukwa chs munthu wobwera. Ehhhh!!! Malawi wake up please!!

  19. NGWAZI says:

    GUYS MOBILISE
    YOURSELVES
    BEAT HIM UP !

    GIVE HIM A LESSON !
    SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !

    THESE PEOPLE TEND TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF US
    ( MALAWIANS) BE IT OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY
    OR WITHIN OUR COUNTRY

    WHY ???
    BECAUSE OF OUR FOUR CORNER STONES.

  20. pixy says:

    Now is the time to kick the boar out Mr President

  21. sulaimana says:

    stupid boss just deport him,how would people stay in fear of the boss at their own country aaaa why?let him go khaaaa!!!

  22. Concerned indian customer says:

    This white guy is indeed racist it is time FMB management do something about it before they loose a lot of customers he undermines the duties of the local and expatriate staff who are under him he actually had the b**** to tell me that the Indians in malawi are not trusted after all who is he working for an untrusted indian

    1. Madala says:

      You Indians are the biggest racists anyway. Stop crying you have a very priviliged lifestyle in our country which many of your people abuse and take advantage of. Not all but some, some are great people like late Anadikat but some are greedy and nasty monsters who do no good for anybody but themselves. Same goes for white expats some are good some are bad. And as to his point he is actually correct – Indians are indeed not trusted by the vast majority of Malawians for reasons mentioned above. Possibly unfair but this is the result of sweeping generalisations and the acts of a few tarring the names of many, as a community you are handsomely compensated in money and lifestyle for dealing with it

  23. Madala says:

    This is what happens when Presidents talk too much…..now it is open season for any Malawian who is doing a bad job, has any gripe with a boss, not performing or getting results. They just cry racism and suddenly the boss is in big trouble. Of course racism is disgusting and these expatriates should not come here and insult us but if we do good and proper work what reason do they have to insult? You will find most of the people who accuse their bosses of this or that are themselves not doing the work they are being paid to do and are looking for excuses to cover this point

    1. Jaan says:

      well said there aare two sides to a coin

      1. Malawian says:

        Just team up and beat him

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