The raging waters are refusing to settle at the Adventist Development Relief Agency of Malawi (Adra). Barely a few months after the agency lost funding from donors who are protesting the abuse of office and plunder of resources at the institution, concerned members of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church and a section of the former employees are demanding the immediate dismissal of the Acting Country Director and Finance Director.
They have since written agency’s board chairperson Pastor Frackson Kuyama to act with urgency or risk being reported to the church’s highest authority for intervention.
Kuyama is being pressured to dismiss Adra Malawi acting country director (CD) Hastings Lacha for his alleged disregard to policy and procedure and Finance Director, Rexia Lipunga, in line with recommendations from the donors in November 2019.
In November 2019, the donors made in November 2019 that Lacha and Lipunga should be dismissed from employment for alleged mismanagement of funds, poor leadership, unprofessional conduct or behavior towards staff.
Lacha, who was serving at Adra Uganda as coordinator for an emergency project targeting refugees, was hired in January 2019 after the former country director Michael Usi left the organisation and joined frontline politics.
But the board ignored the recommendations and this prompted the donors to withdraw aid. The donors include Denmark, Sweden, Australia and European Union (EU).
At least, 65 employees lost their jobs by June 2020 because the agency could not sustain paying them their salaries.
In a letter delivered through email to Kuyama on July 30 2020, the concerned Adventists and the retrenched employees are highlighting their plight following the termination of their services.
“We wish to bring to your attention the fact that these members are not individuals; they represent families who depend on them for all their needs. To make it worse, we are in a Covid-19 situation, which makes their situation even more desperate,” it adds.
“We are giving the Board a period of 14 days to consider acting on the matter as per donor recommendations. Should this fail, we will escalate the matter further to higher Church Management authorities,” warn the employees.
The Adra Malawi board chairperson Pastor Frackson Kuyama acknowledged receipt of the letter and assured that the board would address the matters raised.
“Please, be informed that the issues your group has raised are for the board and the board will respond accordingly,” says Kuyama in his response.
Kuyama did not respond to our questionnaire when we sought to find out if the board has already started taking steps to address the concerns.
Since its inception in 1983, Adra Malawi has been implementing HIV and Aids, food security, governance and education programmes, tailored to reach out to the vulnerable.
The organisations is said to have been receiving an average of combined K2.5 billion from its donors; meaning that their pulling out, which would bring Adra on its knees, would render miserable lives of 2.5 million people.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :