GOVERNMENT, CIVIL SOCIETY AT LOGGERHEADS OVER CORRUPTION

MALAWI: POVERTY/SABANEWS/20/9/18 SABANews 1

BLANTYRE – The HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS COALITION of MALAWI has abandoned talks with the State ahead of a planned demo against corruption this FRIDAY.

Malawi April 2018 mass demos (Pic. CHRR)

MBC News says the decision by the group has disappointed the government, whose officials have waited in vain for delegates from the Coalition for the SECOND time now.

It says Information and Communications Technology Minister NICHOLAS DAUSI has issued a statement accusing the Coalition of obstructing to discuss pressing national issues.

He says the State is deeply concerned with what he describes as the uncivil manner and deliberate antagonist approaches by the groups under the HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS COALITION.

Minister DAUSI says the organisation simply wants to frustrate government intentions to deepen democracy and development through dialogue.

He says a 15-member delegation from the State assembled at the Office of the President and Cabinet, at the time the civil society groups had suggested, but they did not show up – yesterday and the day before.

Minister DAUSI has told MALAWIANS the government is further surprised by the excuses from the organisation about what they call the rules of engagement for the dialogue process.

He the TWO sides should ordinarily develop, negotiate and adopt such issues in a collective manner – and no one side should impose them like civil society wants to do.

Minister DAUSI says the government is committed to talk on mutually satisfactory terms without the sense of civil society dictatorship, as shown in the clear egos of the Coalition leadership.

He says dialogue is a give and take process, where engagement is on the table and nowhere else; and the discussions are a chance for civil society to engage public workers in a healthy conversation that brings results for advancing national interests.

The Cabinet Minister says the Coalition leaders should remember their claim as champions of human rights loses meaning the moment they begin to carry a know-it-all attitude, pretending to be above anyone else as far as matters of national interests are concerned.

Media reports say Coalition leaders have told the media in the capital, LILONGWE, their decision comes after the authorities ignored their proposal to include President PETER MUTHARIKA or ministers in the discussions.

The NYASA TIMES says they have since written to the Chief Secretary to the Cabinet, LLOYD MUHARA.

It says Coalition Chairperson TIMOTHY MTAMBO has accused the State of secretly trying to cripple their planned demonstrations against corruption and impunity, set for this FRIDAY across MZUZU, LILONGWE, BLANTYRE, and ZOMBA cities.

The rights campaigner claims the Government of MALAWI, which says it remains ready for dialogue, is simply playing games with civil society as it continues taking the suffering and voices of MALAWIANS for granted./Sabanews/cam

NATIONAL BROADCASTER PLANNING TO RETRENCH MASSIVELY

SOUTH AFRICA: LABOUR/SABC/20/9/18 SABANews 1

JOHANNESBURG – The SOUTH AFRICAN Broadcasting Corporation says it plans to invoke the Labour Relations Act to retrench hundreds of workers to cut costs.

South African national broadcaster (Pic. SABC News)

However, SABC News says an urgent request by the National Assembly Communications Committee has secured approval to call the SABC Board before Parliament.

It says the Chairperson of Committees, CEDRIC FROLICK, has confirmed the meeting will take place next week.

SABC News in action (Pic. SABC News)

It quotes him as saying he has agreed to the request of the Communications Committee to call the SABC Board for an urgent meeting this coming TUESDAY.

Mr FROLICK says the only outstanding thing is the approval of the Chief Whip, because lawmakers are currently in their constituencies for the next TWO weeks.

The proposed talks come after the public broadcaster revealed intentions to use Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act to lay off a large number of employees as a cost cutting measure.

Communications Committee Chairperson HUMPHREY MAXEGWANA says they want the SABC Board to present the turnaround strategy for the public broadcaster.

Yet, he says the Committee only learnt about the retrenchments through the media – while the Board has not even presented its turnaround strategy as demanded.

ONE news report says Communications Minister NOMVULA MOKONYANE has already condemned the SABC planned retrenchments, despite its cash-flow problems.

The SOUTH AFRICAN national broadcaster, employing FOUR-THOUSAND workers and an annual salary bill of THREE-POINT-ONE-BILLION rand, reportedly recorded a loss of 622-MILLION rand last year./Sabanews/cam