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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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


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.

winston msowoya
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… Read more »

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???


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

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.… Read more »

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


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

Thyolo Thava

Vuto ndi amwenye…Apa pali chani….


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.

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