The Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) officials on Sunday swallowed their pride and apologized for mistreating members of the media who came to cover the official opening of the organization’s 5th Quadrennial congress at Malawi Sun Hotels in Blantyre on Friday.
Making the apology at the close of the three-day conference, MCTU’s outgoing secretary general, Robert Mkwezalamba, said the movement regrets the incident and asked for forgiveness from the delegates and the journalists, some of whom were present in the conference room.
“On behalf of MCTU, I stand to extend our sincerely apologies for what happened on the opening of the conference to our distinguished members of the media. You deserved better treatment than what you went through,” said Mkwezalamba, in reference to an incident which Nyasa Times reported journalists complained that they were made to wait for hours in order to acquire interviews with MCTU officials and Labour Minister, Eunice Makangala.
Adding to this, the reporters were not offered lunch which everyone else who attended the function was given.
“The incident, as reported by the on-line electronic media (Nyasa Times), is the most embarrassing thing to have come from this conference. How could we fail to offer lunch to the journalists who have always been for us when we could entertain the labour minister’s dancing women from Ndirande?
“Have you forgotten who helped you to expose the controversial pension’s bill and many other issues?” queried one delegate, adding: “These people are our partners in the fight for improved livelihood of workers therefore needs to be treated well.”
Mkwezalamba disclosed that he had extended an apology to media mother body National Media Institute for Southern Africa ( NAMISA).
And in an effort to clear his name which was mentioned in the story as the culprit behind the ill-treatment, retiring treasurer general of the movement, Prince Mdolo, said people just dragged him into the unfortunate incident to tarnish his image.
“I’m surprised why my name was mentioned in the article when I was not even available during lunch hour. I left everything in the hands of the deputy secretary general. As a matter of fact, I don’t handle cash as that is the responsibility of the accounts people,” Mdolo said.
Meanwhile, it was announced during the conference that all the journalists who came at the opening ceremony were contacted so they could be compensated accordingly.