Malawi gov’t asked to apologise over South Korea labour export

A civil rights activist has asked Malawi government to apologise to the nation following revelations that Lilongwe did not sign an agreement with South Korea on the controversial labour export deal.

Habiba Osman told Nyasa Times that Minister of Labour Eunice Makangala  or any government officials should make a public apology over the issues.

“Someone must definitely apologize for misleading [the 10,000 Malawian youths]  into believing that they had a job. Silence on this whole saga is not going to help at all. A statement must be put explaining to the youth why the venture has failed,” said the lawyer who is also a human trafficking expert.

She was making the comments following remarks by South Korea’s Director of Labour Market Policy Dvision of the Ministry of Employment, Chung-Hyung woo,  who told BBC ‘Focus on Africa’ programme that contrary to Malawi government claims, his country and Malawi did not strike any deal for labour export.

Labour Minister Eunice Makangala :Labour export fiasco
Labour Minister Eunice Makangala :Labour export fiasco

“There is no agreement between the two countries regarding sending Malawian workers to [South] Korea.

“The President of Malawi government had visisted [South] Korea and she told the Korean people about her wish to send their [Malawian[ workers to Korea but there was no agreement between the two countries,” he explained.

Malawi’s Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Labour, Wezi Kayira also disclosed that  there is no formal agreement between the two countries.

Malawi has also been forced into an indefinite suspension of exportation of labour to Kuwait.

Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu said  Malawi government will not comment “until some sensistive issues that emerged are ironed out.”

Another human rights activist Billy Mayaya called for Makangala to resign over the matter, saying “government’s attempt to mislead desperate youth looking for employment is the most serious breach of public trust.”

“To blatantly state that there has been a bilateral agreement between South Korea and Malawi over migrant labour when there was not is unforgiveable,” said Mayaya.

But an editorial of Malawi News on Saturday noted that “no smaller a personage than President Joyce Banda herself told the nation about the deal.”

The paper said the nation was sold a dummy and that citizens “need answers.”

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