Employees at Blantyre Water Board (BWB) have resumed work, 11 days after staging a sit-in and demonstrating to push for the removal of the board’s chief executive Andrew Thawe.
In a letter dated September 16 2014 addressed to the employees, the comptroller of statutory corporations Zanga Chikhosi says Thawe has been sent on leave to pave way for investigations.
Last week, the employees resumed work after meeting with the board’s management and Chikhosi in a bid to seek solutions to the sit-in, but downed tools two days later, demanding official communication on the fate of their boss.
“I write to further clarify that the chief executive has been sent on leave to pave the way for investigations. In the meantime, the director of finance and administration, who is the most senior among the directors, will act as the care-taker of Blantyre Water Board,” reads part of Chikhosi’s letter.
Water Employees Trade Union of Malawi general secretary Tony Chiphwanya said in an interview that they have resumed work following receipt of the letter, describing it as a relief that government has started addressing their grievances.
“This letter is a relief to us. We now know that our petitions have been considered. We have, therefore, resumed work. All we wanted was assurance that our concerns are being looked into,” Chiphwanya said.
He, however, said the union is waiting for another official communication from government, confirming that Thawe has received his copy of the letter.
Thawe is a registered civil engineer who has worked with the board as a chief executive for four years. Among other reasons, he is being accused of making unilateral dismissals, favouring some workers and failure to protect the welfare of the workers.