Malawi media giant, Times Group, has announced retrenchment of over 60 employess due to economic hardships the country is facing impacting on the private sector.
The high-flying media house with interests in three national newspapers, national television station, national radio station, commercial print house, publishing house, courier service and an advertising agency, confirmed on Friday that about 60 positions will be cut.
“As a business largely propelled by imported raw materials, the depreciationof the dollar from MK450 to MK750 in the last 24 months, has created a hostile economic weather that is unforgivingly unhealthy to sustain our growth drive,” the company founded in 1895 said.
Times Media Group boasts of chain of companies including titles namely; The Daily Times, Malawi News, Business Times and The Sunday Times.
Managing Director for the Company, Leonnard Chikadya, said he regretted that the company has in the last six months engaged in detailed business and structural analysis to create efficiencies in its operations with the view to harvest savings and one of the products of the analysis is the realignment of the Human Capital Strategy and consolidated skill base.
“Resultantly, Times Group has taken a decision to resize and reorganize its organizational structure with the view to balance the business sustainability,” it said in a statement emailed to Nyasa Times.
“We remain committed to ensuring that all mandatory and legal requirements are strictly complied with during this process and we further commit to consider the affected Members of Staff as a priority recruitment catchment area should the economic space improve. We are positive this may happen soon to minimize the economic hardship of those dedicated members.”
The retrenchment will not affect the delivery of Times Group highest quality standards , the company assured.
Journalists commenting on the development on Facebook said retrenchment is not new at Times Group
“The strategy is now a familiar occurrence happening almost annually from around 2007 ,” commented James Mphande.
Another journalist Suzgho Khunga added that actually “ its been annual from as far back as 2004.”
Commening , former Times Group editor Idriss Ali Nassah wrotes: “This must be hard, on both the company and the workers. No doubt, its going to be much harder for the workers, in face of the new pension law that restricts what one can get back. I am sure management had no other choice but take this drastic measure. The bleak national economic outlook hasn’t been kind on many companies, and the print industry is no exception. Whats worse, most of the material used in printing the newspapers, for example, is imported…from ink, plates, newsprint etc. These are tough times all round.”
Before the retrenchment one of the editors Brian Ligomeka tendered his resignation.
Veteran sports editor and columnist Duncan Mlanjira was also rendered surplus to requirements in the newsroom before the job cuts.
Others who have lost their jobs in the newsroom include Gregory Gondwe Mtchindi Meki, Adam Phiiri and Tadala Kakwesa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :