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Egenco workers union freedom ‘threatened’

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Representatives of Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) Employees Union have bemoaned a case in which one of the senior managers at the firm has dragged to court another employee for alleged intimidation over matters the sued worker has linked to a union meeting.

Documents of the case indicate that Egenco Company Secretary Videria Mluwira sued Evaluation Officer Simeon Grey Kabanga for two posts he allegedly put on his WhatsApp status indicating that the defendant meant to deal with VM and other two sets of initials for allegedly doing him wrong.

Mluwira concluded that the initials stood for her name following what transpired during a union meeting that took place in Mangochi District on November 13 2021.

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At the meeting, Mluwira, who was invited as guest of honour, delivered a speech and, after she left, Kabanga, who is also Union Centre Chair for Egenco head office and other members, took turns to discredit her for some decisions made by the company.

“Ellen Kamwendo who is my personal assistant noted Grey Kabanga’s WhatsApp status and she alerted me knowing what has been happening with me within the company setup and Grey’s involvement as Chayamba Union Chair. I immediately interpreted the VM put on his WhatsApp status to mean my name and this has brought fear to my security as well as my family,” a disclosure document from the State reads.

In an interview, Egenco Employees Union President Tamandani Nkhoma said the fact that the complainant is a senior manager had reflected badly on the independence of the union and how members could be free to express themselves on issues.

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“We have engaged management and told them that an official communication from the union is made through a letter or email and, therefore, they should not take hearsay for official communication. They told us that the case is between two individuals and not management itself,” Nkhoma said.

However, The Daily Times has learnt that Kabanga is serving suspension on the same issue.

This is indicated in a letter dated December 7 2021.

“We understand this matter is being handled by police on a criminal angle of the issue but the company would also like to carry out its investigation regarding the matter, hence you are being suspended from duty with immediate effect,” the letter reads.

Egenco Human Resources Manager referred us to the chief executive officer, who did not pick his phone until we went to press.

Meanwhile, Kabanga is expected to appear in court on Friday, after he pleaded not guilty to the offence on January 14 2022.

“Our client pleaded not guilty and now they will start hearing the case. The State indicated that they have four witnesses they want to bring in court and the court set January 21 to begin hearing the case,” Fiskan Nkhoma, who is lawyer for the accused, said.

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