Amidst talk of an eminent closure of Malawi National Lotteries operations in Malawi, Nyasa Times can disclose that we have in our possession proof that the company is indeed shutting shop and skipping town.
The proof comes in the form of a leaked letter dated 24th July 2012 from National Lotteries Board, the regulation authority of lotteries in Malawi addressed to the CEO of National Lottery Group the operators of Malawi National Lottery.
Not only does the letter acknowledge receipt of a letter of intention from the troubled company dated 23rd July 2012 notifying the board of their intention to cease operation of the National Lottery in the country but it also clearly outlines the proper procedure which is to be followed where a license holder intends to cease operating the National Lottery.
Though the company has refuted the alliterations that they are closing down, all ongoing developments at their offices nationwide point to the contrary. A substantial number of their employees have been told that the company is downsizing and have been handed their walking papers.
Sources from within the company disclosed to NyasaTimes that various valuables and assets including Plasma screens, computers and other ICT Consumables have been moved from respective offices and taken into storage and that the company has even gone as far as trying to secretly sell off the company vehicles .
“The guards at the gate told us as we were leaving yesterday that he has received instructions from management not to let any member of staff leave the premises with company issued laptops and Mobilephones and other gadgets, things that we have been taking home with us every day since they were issued to us…” one of the employees who spoke on condition of anonymity disclosed.
“These people think that we are stupid, so far they have not told any of us what is going on. They are leaving us in total darkness which is psychologically torturous. If the current developments are anything to go by, it seems that they want to skip town in a hurry. What about our notice pay and all the overtime hours worked and other such benefits that they owe us? The laptops and phones will remain with us until they pay us off what is ours…” another employee expressed.
Nyasa Times has learned that the employees stationed at the company’s head quarters in Blantyre, last Wednesday the 25th , refused to go to their various workstations until an explanation was given from management as to what was going on.
Addressing them, Director of Operations Levan Lobzhanidze told the employees that he too did not know what was going on, something that is hard to believe as the fact that as the highest ranking officer of the company currently in the country, he would have had to be the one to have written, signed or at least delivered the notification of cessation of operations to NLB dated July 24th.
As indicated in the leaked document from National Lotteries Board, signed by Compliance and Operations Manager Ofwa Alide, National Lottery group, as operator of the National Lottery, is supposed to give notice to the board and the general public of the intention to cease operations one year prior to such a cessation to allow a smooth transition and a seamless handover between the outgoing operator and an incoming one, something that is obviously not being adhered to in this case.