By Aldrin Mukendwa
Road Construction workers at Choi have accused Road Contractor Company (RCC) and Metrological Company of China (MCC) joint venture of unfair dismissal, favouritism and nepotism.
Concerned workers, Mr. Bester Lulatelo Matengu, Mr. Robert Naha Mashi and Mr. Starden Poniso Musomi from Choi Village, expressed concerns that they were unfairly dismissed from their work by RCC/MCC joint venture which won the tender to construct the Linyanti /Kongola road, saying that proper procedures were not followed by the company for terminating their contract of employment.
The aggrieved workers alleged to Caprivi Vision that Mr. Nicolas Murauli their foreman whom they accuse as the linchpin for double played favoritism and nepotism.
The bone of contention is apparently on the interpretation of the contract of their employment and the termination of their agreement was unprocedurally and illegally imposed on them without their consent.
“ My contract was effective from May 6, 2013 and was terminated on the 31st October 2013, and the day I received my termination letter I asked my foreman about this letter who said he is not aware of the letter, I continued to our Human Resource Practitioner for clarity on this regard, who referred me to my foreman and the project manager, and the very same week two workers were employed from the same region of the big fish (foreman) who is the linchpin”. Said Mr. Bester Matengu
Mr. Naha Robert Mashi a 47 years old man also received his letter of termination of contract. In the same vain he made efforts to ask why he was dismissed and only realised that he was not alone but they were many other workers who were dismissed like him.
“This company still owe us August month, as they normally pay the salary of the current month in the next month since we started its just like that”. Said Mr. Mashi.
They also alleged that the very day when they were dismissed, six workers were employed, one girl from Kavango region and one girl from Kabbe Constituency plus one guy and a girl from Linyanti Constituency.
“When I received the letter of dismissal I gave it to my foreman Mr. Nicolas Marauli who originates from Kavango, I asked him what is his say on the dismissal letter he told me to continue working up to the end of the month as he got the letter on 3 October 2013 to the end of the month.” Said Mr. Robert Mashi.
“I worked for three days in September and the 3rd day I was called and he told me that the Human Resource Practitioner called him to tell me to stop working”. Quashed Mr. Mashi.
The dismissed workers told this paper that supervisors have turned the company into a playing jungle.
“These foremen in the company are playing a dirt game, they do have girlfriends in sections and if he realise that the section where his girlfriend is working is about to complete the task he will shift the girl to another section where there is enough work just to keep her working, we know them.” The Group lamented.
Asked for feedback, Mr. Ricky Lilami the Public Relations Officer of RCC/MCC Joint Venture, confirmed that his office is aware of the issue of the three contract workers.
“Some people they don’t understand the difference between expiring of the contract of employment and dismissal, these fellows… their contract expired and nothing else, but ask Human Resource Practitioner he is the one having the files of all workers.” Explained Mr. Lilami.
When asked to shed some light on allegations of nepotism, corruption and favoritism practiced by some of the supervisors in the joint venture company.“My brother my office is not aware of such practice. The three aggrieved workers demand the company to pay what’s due to the overtime, sick leave and etc.…speak to the human resource practitioner Mr.Victor Siyema or the project manager ”he lamented.
When quizzed for comment on the workers’ saga, Mr. Victor Siyema, Human Resource Practitioner responded, “ I am not allowed to talk to the media, please… talk to the project manager.” Who later then said “I don’t have time to waste I have business to conduct please.” Said Mr. Siyema.
However, Mr. Nicolas Murauli the foreman of MCC confirmed to this paper that he was aware of the issue.
“I’m in the meeting my brother with the management and this is one of the issue that was on the table so, its either to take them back or not , its up to management to decide, hopefully they will take them back.” Said Mr. Murauli who hanged up his phone.
Efforts to hear comments from the Project Manager Mr. Nicky Kaputa proved futile as he was not available at the time of going for press.