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Government in job data collection exercise

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Egrita Ndala

The government— through the Ministry of Labour, Skills and Innovation— has embarked on a data collection exercise to quantify the number of jobs created since July 2020.

A circular, dated August 6 2021 and which Secretary for Labour Dickson Chunga has signed, indicates that the data should be submitted to the ministry by Friday this week.

In an interview Wednesday, Chunga said they have, so far, not received any data regarding the exercise, suggesting that the deadline might be extended.

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“In the event that, by August 13, we do not receive the information we are looking for, we may wish to extend the period but, at present, we have not received any data,” he said.

According to the circular, the Ministry of Labour was tasked to coordinate the job-creation agenda in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and other stakeholders.

The circular has been addressed to all district commissioners and district labour officers.

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“Considering that a year has elapsed since the inception of job creation agenda, the government would like to request each institution to provide data on a number of jobs which have been created since July 2020,” the circular reads.

The request is extended to the private sector, which has been asked to estimate the number of new jobs created.

“In instances of job losses, please also indicate the number of jobs that have been lost due to the prevailing economic challenges,” the circular adds.

However, Civil Service Trade Union Secretary General Madalitso Njolomole said it was unlikely that the not say anything about what would become of Chaima Banda.

Before his sacking, Kambala had told The Daily Times that he would not comment on calls for him to resign.

“I am not saying anything [about resignation] at the moment,” Kambala said.

In another development, Kambala, Chihana and Chaima Banda were Wednesday granted bail at the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Court in the case where they allegedly interfered with Nocma officials in the award of fuel importation contracts.

When ACB agents arrested the three this week, bureau spokesperson Egrita Ndala indicated that they were suspected of attempting to influence Nocma Deputy Chief Executive Officer Hellen Buluma to award contracts to Orxy, Finergy and Trafigura.

Kambala has been slapped with three charges of conspiracy to influence a public officer to abuse her office, as stipulated in Section 25 B (2), reading together with Section 35 of the Corrupt Practices Act; misuse of public office, in line with Section 25 B(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act; and attempting to influence a public officer to abuse her public office, as stipulated in Section 25 B(2), read together with Section 35 of the Corrupt Practices Act.

“Newton Kambala, Chris Chaima Banda and Enock Chihana, between the months of September and October 2020 in the City of Lilongwe, conspired together [sic] to influence Mrs Helen Buluma, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Nocma, to abuse her public office by awarding contracts of 2020-2021 fuel supply for the advantage of Orxy, Finergy and Trafigura Fuel companies.

“Honourable Newton Kambala, between the months of September and October 2020 in the City of Lilongwe, being the Minister of Energy, misused his office for the advantage of Trafigura by directing Mrs Helen Buluma, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Nocma, to prioritise an award of a contract of fuel supply to the said company which was one of the fuel bidders in the 2020-21 fuel supply procurement process,” the charge sheet reads.

Chihana and Chaima Banda have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to influence a public officer and attempting to influence a public officer to abuse her office.

ACB Director General Martha Chizuma said ACB was ready to proceed with prosecution in the matter, adding that they had sought consent from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Chizuma said ACB would parade five witnesses in the matter.

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