There is an unspoken of evil labour practice that continues to consume the working spirit in most international companies operating in the country and some organisations with strong links to international interests, Nyasa Times has established.
Qualified Malawians and others with more high-grade and internationally recognised skills and papers are left-out in preference to international personnel who are provided with top-range remuneration packages.
However, despite being engaged and given work permits as experts, most of such personnel have certificates and higher national diplomas. This is in extreme contrast to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees that many Malawians in their organisations and the local market have plus specialised chartered qualifications.
Locals with years of technical expertise in telecoms, factory productions, business operations and banking have been ignored for years by appointing and hiring the so-called experts from especially South Africa and Kenya.
Preference of such a labour market is strongly being advanced by companies Limbe Leaf, Standard Bank, TNM, Alliance One, Airtel Malawi and JTI.
A labour market analyst, Maxwell Nkhoma, said most of the companies line up various excuses to get work permits processed by the Department of Immigration.
“I know others say the type of machinery they operate requires an expert, similarly to managing lines of businesses like in banks and even procurement. However, many locals are even more qualified, this has been going on for so long now.
“As a country we should ask such companies and organisations of their approach in skills transfer. It is hard to believe how qualified Malawians are being used to even train the experts when they are on duty. It smacks lack of patriotism by responsible public offices,” said Nkhoma.
But a Blantyre-based citizen, Kondwani Namakhuwa said the whole thing odours corruption.
“There are loopholes that those companies take advantage of especially on issuance of work permits. On this day and age one cannot even dare to process and stamp a work permit for an expert who has a mere certificate.
“Seriously, how can that be defended? Surely there is corruption going on. Let the organisations seek for such expertise locally first,” Namakhuwa said.
Queried on how his department is issuing expert work permits for people who only have certificates and others with years of experience only, the Chief Immigration Officer, Masautso Medi was blunt in his refusal to comment on the issue.
“My brother, I will not comment on this issue,” he said.
Others are claiming that the Immigration Department is involved in issuance of work permits under duress because of the economic muscle of the multinationals and their hold on central government.
Malawi now has numerous graduates who are either loafing or trying to squeeze through annual internship programmes which government has been operating for two years now.
Other companies involved in sourcing labour outside the country for skills and knowledge that is readily available locally are First Capital Bank and CEAR, formerly Malawi Railways.
In the hospitality industry Malawi Sun, Game Haven, Sun N’ Sand, Serendib, and Amaryllis hotels hire chefs, housekeeping and maintenance supervisors classifying them as experts yet, most don’t even have a clue of their duties.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :