DPP dupes hired usherettes, Winiko demands pay

The country’s renowned comedian-cum-politician, Bon ‘Winiko’ Kalindo, took Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials to task for failing to pay him after performing during its Blue Night event on Friday although he is the party’s deputy spokesman.

DPP hosted an executive get-together dubbed Blue Night at Shire Highlands Hotel in Blantyre with its president, Peter Mutharika, in attendance together with other top-party officials that also included businessman, Leston Mulli who tried to buy a seat close to Mutharika at K800 000.

Among other exciting features on the menu, was a comedy by Winiko and Alfred Azizi.  But Winiko caused commotion when he started demanding his money.

“I want my money. It was agreed and I have to be paid now. This is business and nothing more,” Winiko could be heard confronting some of the organising committee members headed by the party’s treasurer general, Henry Mussa.

Smelling trouble and keen to protect the party’s reputation, DPP was forced to pay Winiko after hours of confrontation.

Peter Mutharika was main guest at DPP 'blue night' fund raising event
Peter Mutharika was main guest at DPP ‘blue night’ fund raising event

And it was not only Winiko alone who felt betrayed by the party on the issues of payments. The party also tricked some of usherettes it hired for the event.

DPP hired extra hand to support the Shire Highlands’ waitresses during the event, with the venue provided for free by the hotel owners; but the night ended on a disappointing note for the hired usherettes who were told they would not be paid for their services despite being promised earlier on.

According to agreement, the usherettes were recruited on Friday on the basis that they will paid K3000 each apart from being given free entry and food but only to be told the payments have been stopped by Mussa.

“It’s disappointing to spend the whole night serving these people up to early morning hours without being paid. It’s frustrating really, especially from the party that has a reputation like DPP. I don’t think I could have come if I knew it’s for free,” lamented one of the usherettes.

When contacted, DPP’s Publicity Secretary Nicholas Dausi expressed ignorance of the issue and said he would follow it up to find out what transpired.

Dausi said: “Is that so? Am not aware of anything, let me find out first”.

But one of the organizing team officials disclosed that the usherettes’ payments were cancelled soon after the event by Mussa on the basis that they were given free entry to the event.

“His argument was that we could not pay them since they did not pay for their entry. We could not do otherwise but to follow the orders. We tried to reason with them (usherettes) and though they seemed not happy, but they understood,” explained the official.

Interestingly, the party is also on the record to have been failing to pay out some of the people it hired during its whistle-stop tours on the pretext that Mutharika’s bank accounts have been blocked by government.

However, government through Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu this week demanded Mutharika to justify his excuse which was also cited when terminating his sponsorship to Southern Region Football League.

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