Agents who facilitated trip to Israel for over 200 Malawians are demanding that salaries for the Malawian farm workers should be paid to the agents’ bank account.
Young Malawians who are working in Israel have told the local media that they have been asked to sign documents allowing agents to receive the Malawians’ salaries and then send the money to the workers’ bank accounts in Malawi.
According to the workers, they fear that such an arrangement will turn them into slaves because they will be left with no money to buy even soap.
“We do not agree with this arrangement because we are the ones working here, not the agents. We want our money to be sent directly to our accounts,” one of the workers told the local media.
The workers further said that the workers took out US$1,650 (K2.8 million) loan each and they were told that US$650 (K1.1 million) is for travel to Israel and US$$1000 (K1.7 million) is for upkeep but when the US$$1000 was sent into their accounts the agents reportedl withdrew the money.
”They lied that they will use the money to buy us smartphones but they did not buy the phones. How can we trust them with our salaries? We suspect that they want to turn us into slaves,” the worker told Times.
One of the agents Chifundo Banda has confirmed to Times about the arrangement but says this has been done to ensure that the money the workers are earning is easily sent to Malawi. Banda has claimed that the workers can’t send money to Malawi on their own.
Private recruiters have been recruiting young Malawians and sending them to Israel to work in farms. Over 300 Malawians have left through these recruiters. Reports indicate that Israel wants 5000 Malawians to work in farms there to replace workers who left following the onset of the current war with Hamas.