Police have said they are investigating complaints by Mulanje District Labour Officer, Gedion Mothisa, that he is living in fear after receiving death threats from Mulli Brothers Operations Manager Joseph Khupe.
According to Mothisa, Khupe, accompanied by six other senior members of staff including Group Human Resource Manager for Mulli Brothers Chris Kamphinda Banda had asked for a meeting with Mothisa in his office on Sunday.
Said Mothisa, “Khupe called me Staurday (23/8/14) informing me that he would like to have a meeting with me the next day regarding the affairs of Chitakale Plantations Limited. The next day being a Sunday I wondered what the main agenda would be about.”
In a letter dated 24th August, 2014 signed by Mothisa addressed to Secretary for Labour, he said Khupe started the meeting by saying that he was not impressed with the sour relationship between the Labour Office and his company.
“Mr Khupe then explained that he was concerned to note that of late especially since July 2014 there is no good relationship between Mulanje District Labour Office and his company to the extent that the District Labour Officer (Mr. Mothisa) is refusing to attend to issues emanating from the company’s establishments in Mulanje…”reads part of the letter Mothisa wrote to the Secretary for Labour.
Mothisa said he agreed to no longer handle issues from Chitakale Plantations Limited because the management of the company always refuses to take advise from the labour office.
“When I began to explain the issue involving five employees who were taken from Mzimba, Phalombe, Nsanje and Mulanje to work at National Bus Company but ended up working in the farm, Mr. Khupe interrupted me and began shouting at me calling me evil man. Mr Khupe further stated that he will deal with me in an appropriate manner even if it would mean killing me. He warned that he can even shoot me,”narrated Mothisa in his letter a copy of which Nyasa Times has.
Mothiwa said he is now living in danger because this is not the first time he has received such threats from the same company. He has since reported the matter to police where he gave his statement.
One of the affected employees Rhoda Kamwendo said he was approached in Phalombe and she registered her name after being told she was going to work at National Bud Services.
“We ended up working in the farm and when we asked why, they told us that once the DPP takes over government, we will go to National Bus Services but up to now nothing has happened and we have not been paid anything,” she said.
Tuesday afternoon the concerned workers converged at the Labour Office where they were briefed on the next move by Mothisa.
According to the workers, the company has not been paying them wages for the past two years and Mothisa said the wages shall have to be paid together with their terminal benefits, as per labour laws.
Attempts to talk to Khupe proved futile as he first said he was in the bank and later said he was at a noisy place and when attempts were made to call him, he had barred the caller’s number.
But Police in Mulanje said the matter is being investigated.
Mulli Brothers is a privately owned company in which late President Bingu wa Mutharika is said to have massive vested interest . It is owned by business magnet Leston Mulli.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :