The tendency for delegates to turn up late for meetings reared its ugly head again yesterday in Lilongwe when Malawi Congress of Trade Union members delayed the opening of the Sixth National Quadrennial Congress by 20 minutes.
One of the items on the agenda during the meeting is election of new office-bearers to take over from the Chauluka Muwake led team which has been in office for the past four years.
According to the programme seen by The Nation, registration was supposed to start at 830am while the official opening was supposed to begin 30 minutes later at 9pm.
Although the Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa arrived at the venue at 8.45am, many delegates reported after 9am.
Irked by the latecomers, Mussa wanted to leave and delegate his role to another government official. However, he changed his mind and stayed to attend the event.
Later the minister confirmed in an interview that he was annoyed by the culture of not being punctual for important events.
Said Mussa: “I was told that the meeting would start at 9am and I was here by 8.45, only to be told that some delegates had not yet arrived and we had to wait.
“I nearly left the venue, but I changed my mind because this is an important event concerning labour. I always get irritated by latecomers because time management is key to every success.”
He said it is important for people, especially workers, to observe time because the tendency affects the country’s development.
In his opening speech, the minister urged aspirants in the polls to be held tomorrow to be conversant with election rules as stipulated in the MCTU constitution to avoid confusion.
In his remarks, MCTU outgoing president Chauluka Muwake apologised to the minister on behalf of the latecomers, saying it would never happen again. n