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Self-inflicted wound

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Some wounds can, indeed, be self-inflicted.

A man or woman in his senses chopping off his own leg simply because it is dragging him or her back when, indeed, it is one’s will that drags one back or propels the individual to success.

Just have a strong will and everything shall fall into place. Not in that literal sense. No. One has to work for success.

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However, it seems that our friends— I mean the top gurus— at the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) do not want to sweat and make Admarc the successful corporation it was envisaged to be.

A corporation with two minds; a social and profit-oriented one.

Well, maybe because of too much focus on the social aspect, Admarc has been shooting itself in the chest.

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And, to make matters worse, it now wants to shoot its own employees— in the chest too. It wants to get rid of them, and, again, this self-inflicted wound on Admarc is about to cost it K8.9 billion.

Why? Because it is embarking on a retrenchment exercise which is targeting all of its members of staff. It is as if, all these years, the corporation did not know that it had one too many employees.

Just this week, some administrators at Admarc appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Corporations and State Enterprises, where they said the corporation has a budget of K6.6 billion and needs K2.2 billion to cover for pension arrears which the company has not been remitting to the pension company.

Admarc, for starters, has 4,063 employees. Following a functional review, it has decided that only 1,565 establishments will be maintained in an effort to reduce the wage bill and also make dividends for the shareholder.

The firm has set for itself a deadline of November 30 2022 to complete the exercise before it re-advertises all the needed positions.

As at now, everyone at Admarc has received a letter notifying them of the pending retrenchment. When the restructuring is done and new recruitments are completed, the board envisages to have new Admarc staff members by March 31 2023.

Well, I am baffled. Baffled because the Tonse Alliance administration has been talking about job creation, and not job destruction.

Maybe it fed Malawians a bluff meal when it said up to a million would secure jobs.

Instead of doing that, Admarc is now crying wolf, saying the K650 million monthly wage bill is a curse to its coffers. My foot. Employed people are supposed to get paid.

The funny part is that, often, it is those that get peanuts that face the chop.

This must stop.

Self-wounding is dangerous.

As I said the other day, if Malawi were a road, it, surely, would be the kind that takes one nowhere.

It would be one that, though tarred and promising, only takes one to the valley of poverty.

More so because, as at now, citizens’ mountain of hopes have now tumbled into a plain of misery.

It is as if, though promising when it became independent from Britain in 1964, Malawi – formerly Nyasaland— has been a mantrap anyway.

What looked attainable in 1964— things like progression on the socio-economic front— now looks like something sandwiched between the short range of our dreams and the long range of our reality.

That is why, despite borrowing heavily from local and foreign donors, Malawi is still reeling from poverty— the nauseating type.

What else can I say when, right before our own eyes, the total figure of our public debt reached K6.38 trillion in March 2022 from K5.65 trillion in June last year.

This, Dear Pain, spells disaster. Call it disaster ‘manufactured’ in Malawi.

And, then, issues of pending retrenchment at Admarc and soaring debt are just a tip of the iceberg. They are a thousand-plus problems Malawians are contending with, giving each and everyone a share of the pain.

And nobody thinks of life as a bliss complete right now, all because some people have specialised in making the wrong decisions.

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