About 18 tobacco tenants in Mzimba District are stranded after their employer allegedly breached some terms of their agreement and chased them away.
Among the 18 are men, women and children from Ntcheu, Mzimba and Kasungu.
Speaking in an interview, Austin Phiri from Nkhamenya in Kasungu said their employer, identified as Gift Moyo, chased them from his farm soon after selling 43 tobacco bales the tenants produced for him.
Moyo has since been arrested by police over the matter pending investigations.
Phiri said their boss refused to pay them, arguing their money had been spent on the food he gave them from August last year to date.
The tenant said according to an agreement they had, each tenant was assured K16 000 per tobacco bale one would produce.
He said: “I produced eight bales which amounted to K128 000, but I only got K4 000.
“He told me that the food which I have eaten for the whole period amounts to K140 000 so there is nothing I can get from him and he chased me and my family away.”
Another tenant, Lawrence Kabango from Chisasa Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kwataine in Ntcheu, said he was supposed to get K88 000 but when the job was done he was chased away.
Mzimba district labour officer Russell Mhone said his office engaged the police who have arrested Moyo to ensure he pays the 18 tenants and let them go to their homes.
He said some employers in the district have such tendency, as his office has received over six cases in the past three months.
Mhone said:“We sometimes engage court and the police to deal with such situations and the tenants have been assisted.”