First it was Press Agriculture Limited where 25,000 people will directly lose employment, now the tide has reached the media fratenity with 44 fired at Blantyre Print and Publshing Group and many more at Malawi Broadcasting Corporation.
I shed tear for my colleagues in the profession, just like I do over the thousands that are facing the prospect of being jobless in a country where opportunities are limited. It is at such times, I always recall the sigh of relief in our newsroom after Government decided to stop advertising in Nation Publications Limited.
I feared that within a short time, many will be retrenched as some of the support services sub contracted, my Chief Executive, my own version of Rupert Murdoch of Malawi in media business told us nobody will loose his job due to the loss of revenue.
The critics of NPL and schemers should have been wondering why people were not accepting the job offers from them. Every Journalist resolved also to stay on and produce the best as an appreciation to what Management declared. 18 months since the ban the paper has grown stronger and is the first choice among Malawians.
Interestingly BNL which enjoyed massive advertising has had to axe some of the best reporters in the country. Thats the irony for another day.
May be the job losses in the media sector will now give us more time to examine where we are heading as a country, we have over 50,000 jobs lost within a short period, many hundreds of thousands of tobacco farmers stuck deep in debt and now the withdraw of donor funding will surely cripple and add more to job losses.
Unfortunately, since it affects a common man, the issue is not yet brought to the national agenda, where we put as a priority and cushion off the effects of unemployment on our colleagues who are in the same productive age group.
The Government policies are not producing any new jobs but cutting them off and that calls of a national emergency, our economy is on its knees and nobody including the Civil Society seems to care about the fate of this growing number of unemployed Malawians.
In Kanengo Industrial areas many companies are laying off workers as they cannot import enough raw materials while Government on its part stopped recruitments of professsional staff causing many to hang out of the public service which is understaffed.
The irony of it all is that while every body speaks of presidential prerogative in hiring and firing of the Cabinet, some of the challenges such as withholding of British aid seem to be an extension of Presidential prerogative gone haywire.
A collegue of mine, who has had a good law school told me this week that the President only has powers to dissolve a Cabinet when he is about to call for elections and not any how as the constitution says there shall be a Cabinet at all times.
I am not a lawyer, so I wont argue much about such thinking, only to say that apart from making some 41 privilaged Malawians jobless, the Presidential prerogative is making thousands more lose their jobs. Time to change!