Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) has cautioned government to tread carefully on exporting Malawians to foreign lands, barely days after government announced it will be sending Malawians to the Middle East.
According to an advert placed in the local newspapers, government would be facilitating the export of Malawians expected to work in the hospitality industry of the rich Gulf States such as Dubai and Kuwait amongst others as receptionists, waiters and housekeepers.
Government also recently launched a similar initiative to be sending Malawians seeking opportunities in the agriculture sector to South Korea.
However, in an interview, MCTU Secretary General, Pontius Elijah Kalichero, cautioned the government to do thorough consultations before Malawians can go to the said Middle Eastern countries.
“Just as we said when government was announcing the plan to export our youths to South Korea, enough consultations should be done [for the Middle East export]. Everything should be made clear especially the type of work,” Kalichero said.
But government has insisted that the country will greatly benefit from the labour export to the Middle East. Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, Wezi Kayira yesterday said Malawi will benefit through the programme due to the economic properity of the destination nations.
“As you know in Dubai the economy is booming and they need a lot of labour. So, we have decided to export our labour so that in the long run Malawians and the whole country in general can benfit because these people will also be saving their money in dollars and that would be very beneficial to the country,” Kayira said.
He said thousands of Malawians will leave for Dubai or Kuwait as soon as the recruitment processes are done. He added that this will also equip the people with skills that would help boost the tourism industry in the country.
According to Kayira, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which will soon establish a consulate in one of the Middle East countries involved and a labour attachÃ© will be sent to oversee the welfare of Malawians.
“Those successful will stay there for as long as the demand for labor exits. As remittances come in Malawi, we’ll have many people who will benefit. It is not just Malawi which is doing this, there are many other countries which are exporting labour,” said Kayira.
According to the adverts, the applicants for the initiative should be Malawian citizens aged between 19-40 years who have a Malawian Certificate of Education, training in the hospitality industry and must be able to communicate in English.
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