After years trying to convince government to allow the Musicians Association of Malawi (MAM) to evolve into a union, the Ministry of Labour on Wednesday finally bowed down to the request and awarded the musicians body a union certificate.
According to MAM president Chimwemwe Mhango, effective March 5, the association will now be known as the Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM).
“I am happy to inform the nation that MAM no longer exists. We are now a union after government accepted our request. They have given us a certificate and we are already on the road working as a union,” said Mhango.
This means musicians are no longer unemployed as the change now means the musicians will be working as employees according to stipulations in the conditions of a workers’ union.
Confirming the development, registrar of trade and employers organisations at the Ministry of Labour Tiyanjane Butao said her office has granted MAM the certificate after passing the test.
“It is true that MAM is now MUM. They followed all the procedures and we have awarded them a certificate to operate as a union effective Wednesday,” she said without giving more details as she was in a meeting.
For many years, MAM has been probing government to allow it to turn into a union.
Mhango revealed that the approach has been failing because the documents submitted were not passing the test.
“The documents we have been submitting to government were below the requirement and we goofed mostly on the constitution. When I came in, I engaged several people to help improve the constitution and create the legal framework of the association. When we presented it, government had no excuse but to accept our request,” said Mhango.
Meanwhile, MUM has announced its first meeting scheduled in a fortnight’s time in Mponela.
Mhango said the meeting will involve executive committee members who will discuss the issue of the union, the constitution and preparations for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which is scheduled for June.