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Unpaid staff members shutdown Luntha TV; demand station’s director Fr. Kaufa to resign

BALALA-(MaraviPost)-Angry and unpaid staff members this week shutdown the catholic church-private owned Luntha Television while demanding resignation of its station director, Fr. Andrew Kaufa.

The staff members are said to be tied of unprofessional conduct of Fr.Kaufa who is failing to run the television to the point that its financial muscles have crippled completely.

The station is even unable to have petty cash to meet daily running costs including electricity, water, fuel for gen-sets and cars, telephone, internet among other.

In letter dated February 1, 2018 and made available to the Maravi Post, writing to Fr. Kaufa and copied to head of Catholic church in Malawi, Archbishop Thomas Msusa and Montfort Fathers, the staff members they demand Fr. Kaufa resignation.

The staff members disclosed that have not been paid for three months plus not provided with necessarily working materials until they shutdown the station.

Despite the move by staff members shutting down the television, Fr. Kaufa has never shown any interest to resolve the matter but he resorted firing those deemed to be pointing out the challenges the station is facing.

Fr. Kaufa is further accused of not appreciating staff members of mobilising resources for the station due to his incompetency.

“For these and all the reasons that we have not spelled in this mail, we have concluded that its not the staff that have failed but the head of the station; in this case you, the director. The way forward is that we shut down as sit-in- strike and that we shall be back on air when Montfort Fathers as owners of Luntha Television resolve this issue by replacing you with another person on the directorship of the television.

“We hope that you will honorably stand down (resign) as director of Luntha Television for the love of the station so that it continues to operates normally. Should it continues to fail after your departure then we shall know that we are the problem and we shall as well all resign,” threaten angry staff members.

An inside sources within the station told The Maravi Post that employees are unhappy with the management of Fr Andrew Kaufa the station’s director.

The sources added that Fr. Kaufa is running the station as a personal estate such that the workers have stayed about three months without getting paid.

“Since he took over Kaufa has fired all the experienced workers, who most of them, had dissenting views. The whole station has about 7 staff members including ground workers which is not feasible for a TV station to run. The employees are overburdened with work.

T”hey are not provided for with resources to record programs hence the programming has plummeted to low levels, It is alleged he is busy using the station money to amass wealthy for himself. The workers have for a long time exercised patience but they feel enough is enough,” said the source.

Fr. Kaufa refused to comment on the matter when contacted to respond on the station shutdown due to financial challenges facing the station.

On Friday, the police invaded the station picking the angry staff members for unknown reasons which readers will be updated.

The Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority granted Montfort Missionaries a television licence for Luntha TV in 2005.

Luntha started beaming from Kuwala studios in Ulongwe on 27 May 2007. Upon completion of construction of the television buildings in August, 2008, the station moved from Ulongwe to Balaka.

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Maravi Post Reporter
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