Mkaka shielding Buluma as Nocma staff protests against acting CEO

There is drama over the post of  acting chief executive officer (CEO) for State-owned National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) Hellen Buluma  as days after President Lazarus Chakwera  instructed Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) ZangaZanga Chikhosi  to “address the anomaly” of appointing deputy CEO Buluma as acting CEO,  Minister of Foreign Affairs  Eisenhower Mkaka has put his full weight behind her while members of staff have made serious allegations against  the boss.

Buluma: Acting CEO at Nocma

Chakwera asked Chikhosi as board chairperson of Nocma to sort the matter, saying the public outcry against her appointment had merit as she is a known operative of the former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

But Nyasa Times understands that Chikhosi is facing pressure from Mkaka, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) secretary-general to ensure  Buluma stay put at Nocma and as boss.

“There is adverse interest from Mkaka to save Buluma,” sources at Capital Hill, the seat of government in Lilongwe said.

The sources said Mkaka says Buluma was not  given the Nocma jon on political loyalty but merit and that in keeping the spirit of promoting women in leadership positions, she should be spared.

But other government officals, say Mkaka’s support is not on principal but based on “private liaison” with Buluma.

Meanwhile, staff at Nocma their letter to the board chairperson of the company seen by Nyasa Times, allege that since Buluma took charge of the affairs of the company she has created a working environment that is not only demoralizing but also adverse to productivity at the company.

“First, we are infuriated by Ms. Buluma’s offensive disrespect for staff in her communication. To express displeasure with an employee’s action or lack of it, which we accept she is entitled to as institution head, Ms. Buluma has the tendency of deploying demeaning and insulting language. We find this repugnant and unacceptable as we are fully aware of the need for our human dignity to be respected regardless of our positions in the organization,” reads the letter dated November 5 2020.

They further state that in her state of anger, Buluma makes unfounded and wild allegations against staff members without seeking recourse to existing systems to establish the truth.

“Some of the allegations that she has, so far, made against staff are, in fact, criminal in nature. We abhor this approach to business as it breeds apprehension in staff. Thirdly, we are displeased with Ms. Buluma’s tendency to threaten staff with unspecified disciplinary action over petty issues that can be resolved through ordinary laid down organizational procedures. This, regrettably, torments staff and leaves them demotivated,” claim the staff members.

Buluma is also said to have a ‘Ms Know-it-all’ attitude, which tempts her to force staff members to do things her way, without creating space for negotiation or to listen to alternative views from professionals and specialists in their respective fields.

“We know very well that despite her authority, Ms. Buluma cannot always be right. We are aware of our right and obligation to offer solutions to organizational challenges. We feel worthless when the Acting CEO demonstrates outright that she is unwilling to listen to alternative views or professional advice. Last but not least, Ms. Buluma has cultivated the culture of gossip within the organization. On many occasions, it has been established that Ms. Buluma finds pleasure in gossiping about, and backstabbing, staff.

“This is so repulsive and unhealthy to the life of the organization. In addition, we find this disposition not befitting her high office. It is painful to inform you, Sir, that Ms. Buluma’s toxic relationship with staff is now regrettably irreparable. We feel victimized by the Acting CEO’s manner of relating with us staff who actually earned our employment with Nocma on merit,” continues the letter.

The staff members have vowed not to work under Buluma’s leadership in any capacity within the organization.

They have demanded that Buluma should be moved out of Nocma not later than 30th November, 2020, warning her continued stay at the company will force the staff members to suspend all company operations at all levels indefinitely.

“Please note that what we have at Nocma in terms of relations between Ms. Buluma and staff is a hopeless situation that cannot be redeemed with the Acting CEO walking the corridors of the company. Simply put, we are currently a dejected team because of Ms. Buluma’s conduct and ill treatment of staff. We sincerely hope that the Board will take necessary action so that, we, employees, can continue serving this country by ensuring consistent supply of liquid fuel,” they conclude.

Nocma board suspended CEO Gift Dulla and director of finance (DoF) Richard Milanzi to pave the way for investigations into alleged financial and procurement mismanagement at the entity.

The board appointed Buluma as acting CEO with Dingiswayo Sambo as acting DoF.

Nocma Limited is wholly-owned by the Government of Malawi and was formed in line with the National Energy Policy of January 2003, but was registered on December 14 2010 under the Companies Act of 1984.

The strategic company is  involved in fuel importation, storage at strategic fuel reserves and distribution nationwide. It is complemented by Petroleum Importers Limited, a consortium of private sector petroleum trading companies.

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Andersonie
Andersonie
8 months ago

What I have seen in all this scenario is that the State President has not been advised properly and may I humbly request those who offer advice to work diligently to avoid situation of political retribution against what Tonse Alliance advocated. While MS Mbuluma may have not been the right candidate to be picked but what is coming up does not hold water. The people complaining are doing so because The State President had already talked bad about her.The board made that choice after carefully thought about all factors unless now the board will he carries away to make another… Read more »

Kholaniwa
Kholaniwa
8 months ago
Reply to  Andersonie

You had time to write all the nonsense in this forum and unfortunately Nyasa crew accepted to take it on board. On the ballot box there was no kind of tonse alliance but torch bearer, in this case was Dr Chakwera.

PHRIWAPHIRI
8 months ago

MKAKA FIRED FROM FM B, NOW HE IN LOVE WITH THIS WOMAN, DO YOU PROOF MR MINISTER? KANANI MUONE.Mkaka is slowly becoming a very powerful figure in MCP, WATCH OUT

Zio ine
Zio ine
8 months ago

I listened to the president comment on mbuluma saying that the workers concerns were genuine because they allege she is Dpp. Chakwera it appears to me does not believe he is the president of Malawi but behaves like he is for mcp only. Malawi has several parties and after elections the president represents all these parties.

Katandowira
Katandowira
8 months ago

Mkaka is becoming very powerful now than Chakwera in the manner we see things.A Chakwera Samalani ndi munthu ameneyu though he has interest in the woman.

Katongo
Katongo
8 months ago

i know this lady Helen Buluma as a hardworking woman, as i know she has qualifications which fits for this appointment akunenawo ndi a MCP ofuna kukhala pa mpando chifukwa choti chipani chawo chawina, osati kudziwa ntchito

Last edited 8 months ago by Katongo
shaharry
shaharry
8 months ago

@ Patriot this is well spoken. Am a lady and i have learnt something. Going back to the Bible, men are natural leaders and i didnt know that it is bcoz of the testosterone hormone which is completely absent in women to guide development of positive leadership skills. Now, it requires a balance from the lady to provide good leadership at an institution. The bible does not condone ladies to be pastors, now i know. So this gender imbalance preached by many ladies for high positions should be viewed with caution. Only those ladies who can demonstarte that they arewell… Read more »

The Patriot
The Patriot
8 months ago
Reply to  shaharry

It is not recommended for women to lead in churches not because of lack of skills or competences but rather how they will relate to men at large given the psychological background. Further more, the social dynamics in religion are so forbidding for women leadership and therefore recommended to avoid having women pastors. Ofcoz there are some ladies who are so exceptional. There was deep wisdom why men were instituted for headship both for homes or churches. This doesn’t mean however that women are lesser beings than men because from the Bible perspective God created men and women equal but… Read more »

Tuntyufe
Tuntyufe
8 months ago
Reply to  shaharry

Deborah was a leader in the bible which bible r u talking about?

DRAKE
DRAKE
8 months ago

She is the right Candidate to be there

Kudya katatu patsiku
Kudya katatu patsiku
8 months ago

The allegations cited in the letter written by these disgruntled workers are all cooked up to say the least.In a nutshell they are driven by the three time honoured enemies: njala, nthenda,nsanje

Kanyimbi
Kanyimbi
8 months ago

Kodi anthu ogwira ntchito mu boma samavota? Nanga ngati amavota kodi onse amayenera kukhala a chipani chimodzi? Zomati uyu ndi wa DPP, uyu ndi wa UTM kapena MCP sizitithandiza. Tiyeni tiziwona kuthekera kwa munthu osati chipani chomwe amasapota.

Flamingo
Flamingo
8 months ago
Reply to  Kanyimbi

They are priritising politics not ability ya anthu. Nde angonena kuti tisamavote

The Patriot
The Patriot
8 months ago

It’s a psychological phenomenon. Women have naturally lower levels of testosterone for assertiveness and leadership positions and once appointed to those big positions their levels of the hormone overshoots and they usually become more than assertive and would want to fend off any opposing views. They indicate this unusual power and harshness dictated by the unbalanced hormone. Ofcoz there are exceptions but usually you will see most powerful women unnecessarily try to dominate in a strange way. Seen it in different organizations. This comes out to be strange for most traditional men who prefer submission or atleast mildness from the… Read more »

Joni
Joni
8 months ago
Reply to  The Patriot

Perfect analysis and explanation This being the case, you may agree with me that any proposal or suggestions from men against them is taken as insubordination based on chauvinistic ideology even when the adverse ideas are there for the healthy management of the organization. Eventually, they do not hesitate to fire the source especially men to instill fear so that they shouldn’t be in for blind loyalty and praising. Most women in big posts feed on men to survive by sending them packing so that others should be hand clappers…especially those close to them with papers, you are always seen… Read more »

kay
kay
8 months ago
Reply to  The Patriot

za manyi.

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