The decision by Mota Engil in Malawi to recruit a Civil Engineer who comes from the Northern Region has been described by Malawians as “shocking”, “unbelievable” “sad” and “disgusting”.
Malawians took to social media where they accused the construction company of promoting discrimination and quota system.
In the mandatory section of the advert published in yesterday’s Nation newspaper, the company said the candidate for the position “must be from Northern Region”.
“Wow! Come on! From the North??? This is really sad” commented Abiti Nazombe on Mac Tembo’s post that read “This is not good”. Mac Tembo described the decision as “shocking”.
“Unbelievable!!” posted Aaron Makwakwa.
Renowned social commentator, Stanley Onjezani Kenani ordered Mota Engil to cancel the ad.
“Mota-Engil, this is discrimination and must stop forthwith!” he posted.
Horace Nyaka defended Mota, saying: “It’s possible this position is based in the north so issues of culture and language may have played a part. It’s important to send someone who understands those”.
Ben Chitsime, also commenting on the post shared by Kenani, said: “I don’t think there is a problem in this advert. The successful candidate will be spending much of the time in remote areas where the element of communication in terms of language and culture should be of very much importance. This is not the first advert of this nature. Some equally specify that they need someone with proficiency in certain languages. Is that discrimination? Some even say that they need a successful candidate to be of a certain gender”.
Most of those commenting on the ad have asked the company to take it down.
“This discriminatory advert by MOTA in the Nation Newspaper where emphasis has been made that candidates should only come from Northern Region,be taken down and please don’t take that path.Every Malawian should be eligible for this post and not discriminate against candidates from other regions.Please take it down” ordered Raymond Chikoko.
There are others who inferred that to spin the ad, Mota Engil, can claim it was an error by the designer of the ad and that instead, the company had intended to say the successful candidate will be based in the North.
The opposition parties in Malawi as well as other Malawians, mostly from the Northern Region, have been protesting against applying of Quota system in Education and public positions where affirmative action (also known as positive discrimination) is used to recruit people from a particular race, region, tribe or gender.
There was no comment from activists like Timothy Mtambo and Charles Kajoloweka who have been vocal against quota system.
Mota Engil has apologised for what the company says is a “misrepresentation” on that ad. The company, as some commentators had inferred, says the correct wording for the ad should be “the position shall be tenable in the NorthernRegion”.
However, some social commentators wondered why Mota Engil had to make the clarification a day after the ad was published in the papers.
Mota was yet to respond to our email as of press time.