Illovo MD Exploits Malawians, Employees Planning Strike Over Clean Wage

Illovo Sugar Malawi Limited employees are set to go on strike to protest against management’s decision to introduce clean wage- a new concept in compensation and benefit for employees where all allowances are amalgamated under one head and that may be basic salary.

The employees are also planning downing tools inorder to force the removal of their Managing Director, Mark Bainbridge whom they are accusing of abusing his juniors apart from removing Malawians anyhow from top management positions replacing them with expatriates.

Illovo is a wholly-owned subsidiary of London-listed Associated British Foods and operates in South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Swaziland.

Threats of industrial strike come almost two months after the company hiked sugar prices- a decision which was sanctioned by Bainbridge himself- despite the country’s inflation improving.

Nyasa Times understands that Bainbridge who joined Illovo Sugar in December last year from its sister company in Tanzania abuses Malawians by showering them with insults and other derogatory words.

Bainbridge who is championing clean wage has so far removed local employees who happened to be in top-management positions such as supply-chain, training and Excellency, health safety, performance service and replaced them with expatriates who are said to be his friends.

Bainbridge phones went unanswered, and the company’s Public Relations Officer, Irene Phalula demanded for a questionnaire when contacted of which has not responded since last week.

Documented information in our possession reveals that Bainbridge has stopped the company from making donations in form of social corporate responsibility, ordered for removal of car allowances and other staff benefits in favor of clean wage as part of his managerial changes but the employees have described it as not beneficial.

“It is regarded as one of cost-cutting measures. Surprisingly as managing director he continues to fly across the country in a private jet which is more expensive. He eliminated any form of donation to hospitals, orphanages or needy organizations. And he has no regards to our main customers such as Chipiku, PTC, SANA and other retail and wholesale clients,” complained one of the employees.

Illovo Sugar Malawi is currently in court after one of its shareholders Prudential Holdings Ltd (PHL) filed a lawsuit last year, accusing it of a series of fraud related charges including making undisclosed payments to Illovo South Africa and its UK-based parent company, Associated British Foods.

PHL chairperson, Ramesh Savjani is accusing the country’s sole sugar producer of defrauding its local shareholders by presenting doctored financial statements to mask huge payments made to its parent company.


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Bridget Scotch

This isnthe trend with most whites especially from South Africa. Look at companies being heades by south african immigrants whites, they have no respect for man of the color. Check in Press Corporation where an org is headed by m’buno, the style is the same. Executivea being called stupids by these guys.
Thats why they must be fought out of the black systems


This man Bainbridge even challenged the previous minister of trade JM. I agree he is arrogant. Ma minister inu mukumangozi yangana izi? Do something. Tilipamabvuto my illovo Kuno. We have only had white md’s in the past but eesh this white is the worst one ever.


Just live with it. Everyone is going clean wage these days. If you don’t want leave the jobs and we will ably replace you. I am not sure anyone who is advising you thinks you have grounds for a strike over change in pay structure and one does not become a racist for making decisions resulting from powers in his position…kwinakutu kumakhala kusamva chizungu…iyaaaaa

100% agree. Malawian of a certain class feel that it is normal for the employer to buy them a car every four years which the company fuels and services and then sell it a book value to the beneficiary employee; pay their children’s school fees at some expensive schools; give them a phone and airtime, etc etc…. Soon people will want companies to buy them a house. One wonders what these entitled people are supposed to be doing with their salaries. This entitlement culture needs to be stopped and it’s good that some companies are doing just that. No surprise… Read more »

Idiot u chemussa. U obviously don’t work here. If u did you would understand the grievances of the staff. We miss pat Mitchell and Ray deAllenda. Those had Malawian people in their interests. Even other managing directors cared for us. Not this bafoon benbridge.


This country should vet expats that will fit into society and not expats that are or think that they are better than the rest. The only thing that Mark Bainbridge is better that me is because he is the MD. Other than that, the only difference to me is that I have am black and he is white, but we both have red blood, both have 2 legs 2 hands 2 eye etc. So no need to treat malawians lesser than you.

Dr Dr Dr

Mark Barnbrigde is a racest. He is arrogant and chalenges that he is AB F sono one can touch him. He even bad mouths top govt officials but we are scared to be victimized if we speak. Another very racest person is Gerald Garson. He is a bad man and has been here for 16 years. On what grounds does he get work permits for so long. Are malawians so incompetence? Bainbridge achoke. Munthu opanda umunthu.

Anthu muzikhala serious
Anthu muzikhala serious

You’re upset that a company owned by South Africans employs South Africans? Be serious please.

Ooops. The problem is the government that does not want to protect its people. There are lots of educated Malawians that can do what most uneducated expatriates are doing. Some of the so called expatriates were evicted from Mozambique and Zambia because of their poor education and proudly accommodated in the warm heart of Africa. It’s not only the MD terrorizing employees. The situation in the estates is very bad. Expatriates like Keith Domleo and Steven ‘re la Harpe are real are IS terrorists and resists. They do not see anything good in Malawians. Keith is actually employing his own… Read more »

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