At least 3, 500 employees risk losing their jobs at Malawi’s main textile company, Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons (DWS) Limited, as the company faces indefinite closure because of lack of raw materials.
Loss of 3, 500 jobs could be a huge disaster for the Tonse Alliance, which is already struggling to create the one million jobs it promised ahead of the court-sanctioned Fresh Presidential Elections on June 23, 2020.
Already, thousands of Malawians have lost their jobs over the past one year as more and more companies are closing shop because of Covid-19 pandemic, which have pushed majority of the company to the corner.
Nyasa Times understand that Mapeto DWS Limited is the latest company failing to maintain production because the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) is detaining its raw materials over alleged evasion of K16.5 billion.
The amount was later doubled to K32 billion.
In May 2021, MRA arrested Mapeto DWS Limited director Faizal Gaffar Latif, the company’s Managing Director Mohammed Gaffar, Financial Controller Abdul Rashid Bakali, Procurement Manager Yaseen Muhammad and General Manager Martin Mpata in relation to the matter.
They five were later released on court bail, with MRA detaining the raw materials, which apparently, the tax collector wants to use as exhibit in court.
But Nyasa Times understands that the detention of the raw materials has negatively affected production at the company.
Concerned employees confided in us on Sunday that in the absence of raw materials, the company faces indefinite closure.
“It’s a fact that the company can’t maintain production in the absence of raw materials. So, the only option they have now it to halt production and lay off the employees,” said Vincent Kum’bweza Banda, a business partner of Mapeto DWS Limited.
Kum’bweza Banda said the company’s management is concerned that 3, 500 employees could soon lose their jobs.
This could translate into 24, 500 people losing their livelihoods, if dependents of the employees are to be considered.
Nyasa Times has established that in trying to save the situation, the management of Mapeto DWS Limited wrote MRA, requesting for an out-of-court settlement of the matter.
In one of the letters, the company assures and promises to abide by the conditions MRA could set if the raw materials are released.
MRA Head of Corporate Affairs Steve Kapoloma said he had not yet seen the letter.
Asked if the Authority would welcome an out-of-court settlement, Kapoloma said their legal team would look into the matter.
“It’s too premature for me to say we will consider their request or not. But once we get their letters, we will respond to them accordingly,” he said.
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This content was originally published here.