Over 200 former employees of the Malawi revenue Authority (MRA) who were fired under ‘controversial’ circumstances in July 2010 have petitioned President Joyce Banda asking her to have their firing reversed.
The aggrieved ex-employees said they have decided to write the president after an earlier petition to former President the late Bingu wa Mutharika in September, 2010 was not given attention by the office of the president.
In their petition, the retrenched employees claim that their firing was based on nepotistic and political grounds which are against rules of natural justice.
“It is not a secret that retrenchment exercises done at MRA was political and nepotistic, this can be deduced among other factors by looking at where most of the affected people come from and compare with those newly recruited. We find it unfair, Your Excellency, for any management to walk into office and tell employees they are dismissed without following natural justice.
“When we realised that the commissioner general was not prepared to hear our complaints, we decided to write the late President Ngwazi Prof. Bingu wa Mutharika on 10th September, 2010.To date there has been no any development from the Office of the President on the issue. We feel our rights to work as bonafide citizens of this country are still being violated hence our request to Your Excellency to rescind the decision,” appeal the employees.
The petitioners further claim that the body embarked on a dubious recruitment drive despite retrenching people, and they also bemoan the manner in which their former employers drove them out of offices using armed police officers.
“Soon after retrenching us, MRA management immediately engaged itself in massive recruitment campaign, again with no adverts. The number of officers recruited within the short period after the sexed up restructuring rose sharply to almost those laid off.
“It is very clear it was a systematic replacement you cannot condone Your Excellency, Madam. We have the list of names recruited to take up positions.
“The manner in which the whole procedure was carried out and the subsequent distribution of retrenchment letters under the heavy armed police officers was both questionable and embarrassing,” the petition signed by 12 of the fired staff on behalf of the 215 reads.
It also says that among those controversially re-employed were some former staff who were dismissed in 2001 but had political connections with the past regime. They therefore have asked the president to reinstate them.
“The recalled officers even included some who were dismissed in 2001 on criminal grounds yet they found their way bank into service,” they plead.
MRA Public Relations Officer Steve Kapoloma refused to comment on the allegations saying the issue is in court and the truth will be determined there.
“On that issue, the comment I can give is that it is still in court so saying anything will be not to follow court procedure. As an institution, we need to respect the court of law.
“To answer whether the allegations are true or not will be like we are suspending the court. The official stance on MRA is that the court will decide,” said Kapoloma.