Blantyre Water Board (BWB) employees have appealed to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) to address their concerns “as soon as possible.”
The workers are referring to investigations instituted to look into issues they raised about their chief executive Andrew Thawe who has been sent on leave to pave way for the probe.
Addressing the media at their premises in Blantyre yesterday, Tony Chiphwaya, general secretary for Water Employees Trade Union of Malawi (Wetum) of BWB Branch said the employees “strongly believe that he [Thawe] is not a good leader; hence, we can hardly work with him any longer”.
Chiphwanya said in the event that investigations found the issues raised by the workers are not enough to remove Thawe from the board, their action will not end as they will continue to push for his removal until it is implemented.
“All the strikes that have been happening at this institution since 2012 are because of his presence at the board and now we just trust that the office of the comptroller of statutory corporations will address the issues raised,” said Chiphwanya.
Asked on whether the erratic water supply that residents of Blantyre City have been facing the past few weeks was linked to the strikes, Chiphwanya said the two issues are not connected and neither will the union allow their grievances towards Thawe affect service delivery to clients.
Among other reasons, Thawe is being accused of making unilateral dismissals, favouring some workers, failing to protect the welfare of the workers and being behind the suspension of the former board’s chief executive Owen Kankhulungo in 2007.
Meanwhile, the workers have resumed their normal duties, 12 days after staging a sit-in and demonstrating to push for the removal of Thawe from the board.