Journalists, who went to cover the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) 5th Quadrennial Congress at Malawi Sun Hotels in Blantyre on Friday, left the venue a disappointed lot after being released without being given neither lunch nor an upkeep allowance, as it has always been the norm.
The scribes were particularly annoyed as the incident happened hot in the heels of being made to wait for hours to conduct live interviews with the MCTU officials and Labour Minister, Eunice Makangala, who was Guest of Honour.
Makangala, herself a former trade unionist, delayed the function by three hours because she came very late to the venue, accompanied by a large entourage of dancing women from her Ndirande Constituency.
Lengthy speeches from the many local and foreign dignitaries also contributed to the delay in the programme’s recess to give room for the interviews.
As they walked out of the conference hall after interviewing the officials, the journalists were heard moaning and mumbling about the ill-treatment they went through of being delayed to go back to their respective media organization to file the story and being left to go without being given food or lunch allowance.
They particularly faulted MCTU outgoing Treasurer General (TG), Prince Mdolo, who they claimed was rude to them as he is said to have told them in the face that there was nothing for them and that after the interviews they were free to go.
“How can they keep us all this time and later being told to go without being given anything? We didn’t get-crush, we came here in response to an invitation they sent to our newsrooms. This is unfair,” one journalist was over-heard mumbling about the incident.
Apparently, Mdolo has been a sworn-enemy of the media throughout his two-term stint at MCTU as TG because of stance against giving allowances to the media, which he has been doing in the name of financial prudence.
Ironically, while the journalists were leaving the place on empty stomachs, Makangala’s “dancing troupe” had packed the Jupiter Restaurant alongside the delegates to the congress, for the three-course meal.
MCTU officials refused to comment on the matter, saying they were busy with the congress matters.
Meanwhile the trade unions’ mother body is expected to elect new executive members on Sunday. Positions to be contested for are President, Vice President, Secretary General, Vice Secretary General and Treasurer General.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :