Malawi state broadcaster MBC staff strike

Some employees at Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) on Wednesday went on strike demanding the institution to pay them their dues for over nine months.

The employees, who were once redeployed to other government department  before being  reinstated by the High Court, have not being paid their wages since September last year and are currently seeking legal intervention on the matter.

On Wednesday the disgruntled employees staged demonstrations, chanting songs, mocking the administration while carrying placards exhibiting their anger.

MBC Chichiri broadcasting house

At the time of the vigils at  the MBC head offices at Chichiri broadcasting house in Blantyre, the management and the workers union were engaged in a meeting to sort out the matter.

According to information Nyasa Times has sourced, the victimized employees convened a meeting on Sunday where, among other issues, they agreed to hold a vigil apart from seeking legal assistance for contempt of court.

And in interview one of the workers union’s members confirmed to have met over the weekend to deliberate on unpaid employees who were being victimized by Bright Malopa’s administration.

“After the High Court stopped redeployment under so called MBC and TVM merger, the management was ordered to reinstate us until constitution review on matter. However, since that time up to date we have not been paid our salaries. I don’t know how they are expecting us to survive without a pay.

“This is contempt of court because we are employees of MBC just as everyone else and we have to be paid our dues. We have agreed to stage a protest and take up the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) and see what will be the outcome,” said the Union member.

According to the employee, MBC administration has been playing hide and seek on the salaries and that instead top officials at the media house once lead by Malopa have defied court order and continue with redeployment.

Our investigation revealed that indeed some of MBC employees have been redeployed to other government departments including Ministry of Information and have since started reporting to work.

“The management has been approaching some of us to withdraw the court cases in return for high positions. Some have even received letters of appointments from human resource department as an enticement to dump our camp.

“It’s all a calculated move by the administration. They are trying to play with figures. They know they will not win the court cases, so instead they want to reduce the number of the employees who will stand to benefit from the case through compensation. But this is a clear admission that they will not win the case,” explained the employee, adding “Some of us were even offered forms to fill pledging our allegiance to the company and affirming that we will withdraw the court cases, but we refused because it’s our rights, our lives we are dealing with here”.

The High Court in Blantyre was expected to make a verdict on the case between MBC management and workers union on the stopped redeployment. Malopa last year started redeploying some of his juniors who seemed to be a threat to his position.

Surprisingly, most of the employees were redeployed to positions that were below their qualifications, a development that raised eyebrows.

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