Fears are creeping of a possible diplomatic spat between Lilongwe and India, as the Malawi Immigration Department has deported two Indian doctors who were working at a private dental clinic.
Their employer, Dr. Anthony John of Dr Anthony’s Dental Clinic, alleges that the two doctors, Rajan Ahuja and his wife Sucheta Bector, flouted their work contract agreements.
This is contained in correspondence between the two parties, which Malawi New has seen.
A letter from Dr. John reads in part: “Kindly note that management is shocked and dismayed to learn that your wife Dr. Sucheta Bector left Malawi on 27/03/2017 without submitting a leave application or seeking prior permission.
“It is also noted that you were yourself absent without prior notification and aided her in this act. Further you have arrogantly brushed aside any queries related to this matter.”
“You are encouraged to respect the laws of this country and depart at the earliest, so please make appropriate arrangements with respect to your personal belongings. This clinic is ready to arrange and pay for your flight ticket to India and is not responsible for any of your future actions,” reads the letter.
Dr. John confirmed in an interview on Friday of the communication.
The Indian High Commission is meanwhile fighting to have Ahuja and Bector return to Malawi and has since admonished Anthony for influencing the Immigration Department to deport the two doctors.
The proprietor is believed to have approached the Immigration Department to have the work permits of Ahuja and Bector cancelled, at a time the two were getting their Temporary Employment Permit (TEP).
On March 14, 2017, Lexon and Lords, lawyers for Dr. Anthony Dental Clinic, wrote the Chief Immigration Officer, advising him to cancel the work permits for the two doctors, saying the clinic procured the TEPs which were tied to their contracts.
“Investigations by the clinic and information from reliable sources suggest that the dentists’ intent to resign is based on attractive local job offers inclusive promises of business resident permits,” reads the letter from the lawyers.
The letter accuses the two doctors of working in league with third parties who are aiding and abetting them to compromise their contracts with the clinic as well as the terms of their TEPs which bind them to the contracts.
“Based on our client’s investigations and sources, our client finds the conduct of the said dentists to be questionable, suspicious, unethical and bordering on illegality,” says the letter in part.
There was no immediate comment from the Immigration Department.
However, the then acting Indian High Commissioner to Malawi Anil Kumar rebuked Dr John saying as an Indian national, he was not supposed to be involved in the deportation of fellow Indians.
“You deliberately avoided calling the High Commission on the fateful day when Rajan Ahuja was deported to India without giving him any time to gather his valuables and personal items. We kept calling you but you did not take our calls. You only responded and met us after our repeated calls,” Kumar states in his letter to John.
Kumar furthers claims the decision of Dr John to reject extension of the lease of the house where all the personal effects of Ahuja and his wife are kept is questionable.
“We find your response and conduct quite unsatisfactory… you should not precipitate the matters further and cooperate with the High Commission in the matter as an Indian national… the High Commission would be constrained to take appropriate action in the matter for an Indian national who fails to cooperate,” he says in the letter.
Commenting on the matter, Rumphi East legislator ,Kamlepo Kalua, who is also vice chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, stresses that all foreign nationals working in Malawi should strictly adhere to the laws of the land.
He claims the role of the Indian High Commission in this matter is highly suspicious.
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