14 June 2018

Malawi: Airtel Malawi in Crisis, Mass Exodus of Workers Over Indian Boss Abuse

There is deep managerial crisis at Airtel Malawi which has exposed abuse of Malawian workers by Indian boss leading to mass exodus of employees who cannot take it anymore, Nyasa Times can reveal.

So far about 42 employees have left the company in the past four months which include senior executives namely Rachel Mijiga who was Director of Enterprise Business, Paul Kachika and Chifundo Kumpukwe.

Insiders said Malawian managing director Charles Kamoto, despite getting around US$25,000 (Approximately K18 million) per month is not helping matter as he cannot fight for fellow Malawian workers who are mostly verbally abused by Indian bosses.

Airtel Malawi is owned by an Indian businessman.

"There is just blatant abuse of workers here at Airtel Malawi, people are working for 18 hours a day and are expected to be back in the office at 8.30am the following day. On top of that the Indians, especially the Finance director Indradip verbally abuses Malawian workers," said Nyasa Times source at Airtel Malawi.

The sources said salaries for shop employees were drastically reduced from K180,000 per month to K65,000 after comparing salaries of till operators at Chipiku stores.

"When the other managing director Heiko Schlittke came he made sure these shop workers get decent pay and the lowest paid was around K200,000 because he understood that we are offering a technological service. But the sad thing is that it is our own Malawian Human resources director under the instruction from the Indian Finance Director who went to compare salaries of till operators at Chipiku and drastically reduced the salaries to K65,000, this is not fair," narrated the source.

"Kamoto and fellow Malawian bosses are not doing anything, they cannot defend fellow Malawian workers because they are getting heft salaries and as long as their issues are ok, they do not care about anyone else," added the source.

Nyasa Times can also reveal that clerks, without even basic knowledge of computers are being brought from India and accommodated at Riverside Hotel with K300,000 salaries, yet these are some of the jobs that Malawians can ably do.

On the management side of things, some workers are not impressed with the capabilities of Kamoto as he is said to be a passive leader who cannot make any decision on his own.

"He will wait for others to make decisions on his behalf, he can't make his own decision and he can't even stand up to the abuses that Malawian workers are going through."

"This is why there is a mass exodus of employees including senior people, this should tell you something about his managerial skills," said the source.

Airtel Malawi is also said to be hoodwinking people in its corporate social responsibility (CSR) events.

"They are allocating about K200,000 per CSR event to hoodwink people that they are contributing more. This is just small change, this company makes billions of Malawi kwacha in profits and it is unfair to allocate K200,000 to each CSR event," said the source.

Airtel management could not immedietly comment on the allegations.

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