State grain trader Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) says it is to retrench 982 workers due to cash-flow problems, a move economists blame on government for failing to make most parastatals efficient and effective.
Officials from Admarc say the retrenchment exercise will affect most Admarc depots across the country.
Economists Association of Malawi (Ecama) president Chikumbutso Kalilombe said the Admarc issue is a wake-up call for other parastatals.
“There is need to review the work of other parastatals so that they should start ticking,” said Kalilombe.
Malawi Congress of Trade Unions president Luther Mambala said it was sad that the unemployment rate continues to increase in the country.
Speaking last week when the ministry officials appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Irrigation, Natural Resources and Climate Change, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Grey Nyandule Phiri said Admarchas bogus employees that have bloated the institution’s payroll.
Phiri said the number of employees the corporation was not in line with what it was supposed to have as there were 4 378 employees which is not proper.
The PS said Admarc has been riddled with various challenges, including maladministration and failure to abide by the Employment Act, which forced the ministry to institute a head count in 2018.
Said Phiri: “After noting the mess at Admarc, we conducted a head count which started in December 2018 and ended in February this year, we found that 221 employees were untraceable even though they were on payroll, there are 136 people who are supposed to go on retirement because they have surpassed the age of 60 but they did not.
“There were 721 temporary employees who overstayed for over a year and there were 982 who were supposed to be laid off because they didn’t have any job description and are not supposed to be on the payroll.”