Tue. May 28th, 2024

A dozen Malawians have been arrested in Israel for leaving their designated work stations in farms to seek employment in a town, authorities said.

They were among 40 foreign workers who abandoned their farm work in southern Israel to seek jobs at a bakery in Bnei Brak city, east of Tel Aviv, Malawi’s Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu told local media.

He did not say if Malawi was engaging with Israeli authorities about the matter, but only urged Malawians there to respect the terms of their employment and avoid engaging in illegal activities.

Austin Chipeta, the leader of the Malawi society in Israel, told Malawi’s The Nation news website that the group, which fled the Arava and Lion farms, was detained at a maximum security prison in south Tel Aviv, near Shapira neighbourhood, pending deportation.

Salaries in the farms are much lower and the Malawians were seeking better paying jobs in nearby towns, Mr Chipeta said.

Last year, 221 Malawians departed for Israel to work as farm labourers in a labour export deal signed between the two countries in 2022.

The deal is aimed at generating more foreign exchange revenue for Malawi and providing employment opportunities for its citizens.

However, the deal has faced criticism and controversy, with some opposition politicians and human rights groups expressing concerns about the secrecy surrounding the deal and the potential risks to workers’ safety.

By Joy

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