Lilongwe’s newly-elected mayor, Desmond Bikoko, has unleashed a partisan display by forcing the council’s chief executive officer Moza Zeleza to fire 100 labourers who he suspects are Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members.
The council has since replaced them with 200 labourers whose only merit is that they are from his Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Bikoko was elected last month under the banner of bringing sanity and development to the Capital City through transparent transactions.
His latest conduct is a clear departure from his campaign promises.
One of the fired labourers told this publication that soon after assuming office Bikoko sent his team to verify all names of the section.
Anyone with Lomwe, Yao or Southern Region origins was marked and names were submitted to the mayor’s office.
The verification exercise is what terminated services of 100 labourers under the pretext of lame reasons to veil the political persecution.
“All the labourers that have been fired are from southern region. This is very sad considering that we were just labourers trying to make ends meet so that we put food on the table for our families. Our only sin is that we come from the south,” lamented the 45 year old father of 6 children who stays in Kauma township but hails from Balaka district.
Meanwhile, under Bikoko instructions the council replaced the fired labourers with his own 200. Surprisingly, names of the new employees were submitted by MCP senior members.
Our investigations habe revealed that the new labourers are MCP committee members at ward and constituency levels within Lilongwe City Central. Most of them come from Senti, Kauma, Kaliyeka, Mwenyekondo, Mtandire and Kawale townships.
City labourers are mainly responsible for sweeping the streets and public places, cutting grass and taking care of flowers in roundabouts and other public spaces as well.