Rab Processors Limited has dismissed reports that one of its workers committed suicide after being fired, saying he was only asked to write a report.
There was tension yesterday at the office premises in Limbe, Blantyre where employees–who claimed the deceased took his life after being dismissed–went on strike demanding an explanation from management. It took police intervention for the situation to return to normal.
A statement signed by Rab Processors Company Limited general manager Roy Chirwa, which was released immediately after the incident, states that the company did not dismiss the deceased.
“We have also noted with concern that there are various rumours and posts circulating on social media which are far from the facts and we request the general public to exercise caution when reading or listening to these posts,” he said.
Chirwa explained that Chiphwanya was found with a packet of milk on Tuesday night while on duty.
“The deceased was caught hiding a packet of milk and he was told to write a report on the malpractice. Soon after writing, Chiphwanya disappeared only to be found next morning hanging from the roof,” he said.
Limbe Police Station spokesperson Widson Nhlane said police dispersed the protesting workers who were angry with the death of their colleague.
He said: “We rushed there to bring peace as we heard that workers at Rab Processors Company Limited are demonstrating over their fellow worker who was found dead after being accused of stealing a packet of milk powder at the company.”
Nhlane said police have launched an investigation into the incident to establish what caused the death.
Rab Processors Limited was founded in 1983 and has about 2 100 workers nationwide.
It produces milk powder, tea bags, peanut butter, nutritional supplements, salt and non-processed food products such as maize, groundnuts, rice and beans, of which 15 percent are for export. Further, as a key regional supplier of basic non-food household and agricultural items, Rab Processors provide goods such as fertiliser and bicycles.