Mapeto David Whitehead & Sons has told Government that it will lay off about 1,000 workers as the company is being investigated for K0.7 billion tax evasion.
Deputy Labour Minister Vera Kamtukule and Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) president Luther Mambala have confirmed. The two spoke about the issue at the Labour Day Commemoration event at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre today.
Mambala said he received a letter from the textile workers union indicating that Mapeto wants to fire workers because of the investigation on tax evasion.
He complained that workers are being affected by the MRA probe and he appealed to President Lazarus Chakwera to intervene.
“Ndimati muyiuze MRA isachite kufinya kwambiri (Mr president, you should order MRA not to pounce hard on the company) because the workers are the ones suffering from such actions.
“Your government wants to create one million jobs but the devil is using people who are suppressing your work on the pretext of carrying out their duties,” said Mambala.
Speaking after the union leader, Deputy Minister of Labour Kamtukule said her ministry has received a letter from the company about the plans to lay off the workers.
She added that the ministry has engaged the company and the MRA to understand the issues involved.
“I announce to you today that we are handling this matter because we are not only looking at 1000 people who will be affected, there are thousands of other people that will be affected in their socio-economic system,” she said.
Mapeto is owned by Faizal Latif who has previously been investigated for an accumulative amount of more than K12 billion evaded tax for the past 5 years
The current investigation is on alleged importation of 246 bales of Java Wax fabric, 5,300 bales of mixed rolls of fabric, different types of tyres and bales of second hand clothes without paying tax.