The Federation of Disability Organisations of Malawi (Fedoma) faces a lawsuit for allegedly failing to pay allowances and provide warm clothing to five youths the organisation sent to Norway in 2009 for fundraising activities.
Armstrong Lawyers and Company wrote Fedoma executive director Mussa Chiwaula on March 19 2013 on behalf of Bizwick Kabambe, Ian Simbota, Chire Botha, Madalo Kajaza and Esnart N’goma who said they were treated unfairly after returning from Norway.
Among their grievances, the five say they want compensation for being denied daily allowances promised at Norwegian currency at 100 kroners per day, clothes to keep them warm and being sidelined in the implementation of the Inclusive Education Project.
“Therefore, our clients would like to seek redress over the way you have treated them. They feel used, cheated and abused. Wherefore, we seek your views on this matter before we can ably advise our clients on the way forward.
“We seek to revert to use within seven working days, otherwise we shall proceed to seek legal action against you and your partners without further recourse to you,” reads the letter in part.
According to the five, Fedoma submitted proposals to various donors in 2009 to source funding for the project.
The letter said one potential donor, Operation Day’s Work (ODW), asked Fedoma to send some disabled youths to Norway for fundraising activities such as conducting seminars and presentations on the challenges the disabled face in Malawi.
“In that process, our clients were selected to go. They were part of four groups which came from Sadc countries, namely, Uganda, South Africa, Mozambique and Malawi.
“Our clients aver that it was a Pamela Juma, the public relations officer for Fedoma, who communicated all the details of the said package through all project coordinators of respective partners under Fedoma from which the Malawi youths came from,” reads the letter.
The law firm said the Norwegian organisation gave the five 50 kroonals each and told them that they would receive all their benefits through their respective mother bodies when they returned home.
According to the letter, the clothes they were given for warmth were taken from them as they were leaving Norway.
“Hence, they returned empty-handed, except managing to attract monetary donations which eventually came to you for the Inclusive Education Project that has been run by Fedoma, Podcam and Malawi Union for the Blind,” said the letter.
In an interview two weeks ago, Kabambe and Simbota said they were given 50 kroonals for the entire 21 days they were in Norway for upkeep, excluding accommodation and meals.
Mussa refused to comment on the matter on Thursday, saying he had not seen the letter.