BWB staff to petition Parliament

Employees of the Blantyre Water Board (BWB) during the previous strike
Employees of the Blantyre Water Board (BWB) during the previous strike

Blantyre Water Board (BWB) employees plan to present a petition to the office of the Speaker of the National Assembly today to intervene in their wrangle with their embattled chief executive (CE) Andrew Thawe.

Water Employees Trade Union of Malawi BWB branch general secretary Tonney Chiphwanya disclosed in an interview yesterday that the employees are concerned about the way the office of the comptroller of Statutory Corporations is handling the matter.

He said although the employees, who were on strike, returned to work following the sending of Thawe on forced leave, they were worried with the turn of events.

Said Chiphwanya: “We are petitioning the office of the Speaker to intervene so that the investigation process is not jeopandised because we have heard that although the CE is on forced leave, he has been coming to the office at night. We want the investigations to speed up.”

The petition, which the trade union already presented to the comptroller, alleges that Thawe issues contracts on personal interests, single-handedly procured water meters from South Africa and bought spares for motors, which were not received by stores and finance department.

“We, employees of Blantyre Water Board, have been experiencing a lot of challenges with the incumbent chief executive since his appointment. Two former ministers of Labour and Water were engaged to resolve the matter in 2012, but they failed to resolve it,” reads part of the petition signed by Chiphwanya and union president James Monjeza.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) senior public relations officer Egrita Ndala confirmed that the graft busting body received a complaint against the BWB boss and that investigations have started.

Said Ndala: “ACB recorded a complaint of alleged abuses at Blantyre Water Board. The complaint has been processed and authorised for investigation.”

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