Amid reports of Malawian girls marooned in Middle East after rumoured exploitation, one of the country’s leading recruitment agencies has faulted government for creating the problem.
Last week, our sister paper Nation on Sunday reported that 12 Malawian girls are destitute in Qatar and Kuwait and are camping at a government shelter following alleged abuse and inhuman working conditions.
But one of the established recruitment bureaus, Job Centre, has pushed the blame on government for failing to bring sanity in the job recruitment sector by tolerating freehand operations.
Job Centre managing consultant Trevor Kandoje said government’s failure to regulate the job recruitment industry has resulted in “street vendors” taking advantage of the situation to clandestinely recruit people who are eventually abused and abandoned in foreign countries.
“I think it is time government fast-tracked laws to regulate this industry. Job recruitment is a new phenomenon and most of those who have engaged in it do not know what to do. They take advantage of desperate Malawians,” he explained.
The Job Centre has been facilitating employment for Malawians to countries like Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar since 2013 and so far 1 500 have benefitted.
Speaking in an interview from Abu Dhabi, UAE yesterday, one of the Malawians, 33-year-old Linda Zapita concurred with Kandoje on the need for government to regulate the job recruitment agencies.
Zapita, who left for UAE in November 2013, observed that most girls are abused because they use bogus agents and once they fall in trouble they are abandoned.
“The advantage with dealing with recognised agents is that in times of dilemma in terms of abuse you can easily switch and work at another place, which is the arrangement with the recognised agents.
“I think it is just a matter of government regulating the industry, otherwise more Malawians will continue to face such challenges,” explaining Zapita who works for Abu Dhabi National Hotels (ADNH), New York University Campus.
But Minister of Labour and Manpower Development Henry Mussa said government was already working on legal framework to guide the way the agencies work. n