Malawi govt claims Chikaonda has destroyed Press Corporation: Denies DPP meddling

Malawi government on Thursday released a scatching statament to dismiss assertions that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government is scheming to snatch Press Corporation Limited (PCL) away from other shareholders by imposing DPP gurus on PCL and Press Trust Boards and went to town accusing PCL led by Mathews Chikaonda  of destroying the corporation.

Chikaonda: PCL boss face government smear

Chikaonda: PCL boss face government smear

Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Jappie Mhango, said in a statement dated March 17, 2016, seen by Nyasa Times that  Chikaonda “completely destroying the intending character of PCL.”

Mhango, who is government spokesman,  was responding to Malawi News reports that accused DPP of trying to hold firm control of PCL to use it as  bankrolling entity for their party campaign.

But government spokesman dismissed the claims, saying some top senior PCL members want  to tarnish the image of government and the DPP through “baseless allegations whilst trying to mask the rot at PCL”.

Mhango statement blasted  out going PCL boss Chikaonda of destroying the conglomerate.

The statement also said the Board of Press Trust had mostly comprised of more Malawi Congress Party (MCP) members than any other party.

“Currently, the Trustees include the MCP Treasurer General, Mr Tony Kandiero and Honourable Nancy Tembo, who is a former MCP Parliamentarian, as well as an MCP nominee on the Malawi Electoral Commission. Also on this Board are Dr. George Kayambo and Mrs Chioko who are certainly not DPP Sympathisers.

“The remaining Press Trustees, who are far from being DPP sympathisers, appointed their replacements i.e. Mr Chisanga and Mr Chirwa, under the same law, the same Board of Trustee appointed Mr Chidyaonga and Prof Peter Mwanza to PCL Board.”

Mhango said if it was a matter of questioning appointments, people should start with the appointment of  Chikaonda as the Group Chief Executive (GCE) 14 years ago who the minister said never went through Board interviews nor proper legal channels.

The minister said Chikaonda was handpicked by the then President and imposed on the Board as the GCE of PCL despite serious reservations from Press Trustees at that time.

The Government Spokesperson then highlighted some of the major finance manoeuvres that have taken place under the leadership of the GCE who is reportedly still fighting for extension of his contract.

Mhango observed that Chikaonda reign  he closed eleven Press Companies, failed to replace the closed companies with new and more vibrant companies, and that out of the current units of the PCL had only five were operating smoothly while six had challenges and some technically insolvent.

“The revelations of this information have compelled government as a majority share holder to seek some information from PCL Management,” said Mhango.

“This was done in a letter from the Attorney General, through the CEO of Press Trust…it is now six months after this response was sent but no response has come… we want to know why all these companies were sold and how so many new proposed companies failed.”

Government has since demanded an urgent shareholders meeting to assess the extent of the mismanagement at PCL and start taking remedial measures, according to Mhango.

But PCL spokesperson Chisomo Macholowe said the Press Trust does no own PCL and that “government cannot call a stakeholders meeting as it claimed in its statement.”

Macholowe also defended Chikaonda from government’s smear and said the closure of some companies had “ good reasons” for such decisions.

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Man
Guest
Man
6 months 12 days ago

A Jappie, you think you have all power to intimidate Professor Chikaonda. Bingu failed to do so and your current boss can’t even try it. He is too far from Chikaonda.

pido
Guest
6 months 12 days ago

Mtumbuka uyu wandale za tsankho. Talking of MCP ee handipicking meaning Muluzi. Jappie ukadzagwa udzadziwa kuti dziko limati chani. Wayesa MASSA udasowetssa uja eeti

choonadi
Guest
choonadi
6 months 12 days ago

Anthu amene mukuchita defend Chikaonda you are blindly stupid

youth
Guest
youth
6 months 13 days ago
1. Whether Chikaonda is a capable or incapable CEO, that I don’t know but one thing apparent here is that the DPP is angry for failing to penetrate PCL. 2. Job interviews are procedures of identifying a right candidate for a job, but be aware that it is not the best way of doing it. Others are given a job based on previously known capabilities without undergoing an interview and this happen all over the world. 3.sorry folks who lost ur jobs at MTL because of redunduncies, but one undeniable fact is that u were not wanted. U were excess… Read more »
Kamwela
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Kamwela
6 months 13 days ago
Chikanenapa,Chikaonda has caused the suffering of so many people. He rentrenched people in 1999 when he was governor of the Reserve Bank. Some of the workers who were retrenched had just come from master’s training. A few months after retrenchment a good number of staff members died because of trauma andovertty. He is a very callous, pompous and cunning person. Munthu ozikonda and dyera. I know the issue of MTL very well. The company that was brought in from German, Decton, was chased in Tanzania because of incompetence. As you rightly point out, they did not bring in any investment… Read more »
Woonela Patali
Guest
Woonela Patali
6 months 13 days ago
14 years is more than enough time to asses the performance of any individual. What we have seen so far, PCL is folding. Many companies have closed, some are at the verge of closing. Companies like PTC, MTL and others that have all the market are not ticking yet no solution is provided. Now i wonder why some people are backing up the current leadership. The longer we keep the current leadership the more companies are to close. Try other people who have the mind of Kamuzu, you will see change at PCL. Malawi as a nation, is looking forward… Read more »
Jijoxy
Guest
Jijoxy
6 months 13 days ago

I will say this….any organisation runs on the brains/judgement and opinions of the people running them. If in Chikaonda’s view and that of his board and management thought it necessary to close off some business so be it. They were in charge. It is easy to say the man mismanaged PCL but we don’t know what others would have done if they had been in charge. Kodi nkhani imeneyi yayambika chifukwa chani? Mwina zandidutsa eti….is he planning entry into politics since his post was advertised?

Phwisa
Guest
Phwisa
6 months 13 days ago

I have been telling friends that I have been questioning Chikaonda’s economics even to the point of digging his background . Then somebody told me he was a school teacher. Then I said alas! thats why his companies and those he is board chair have not been ticking even closing

Mlangizi
Guest
Mlangizi
6 months 13 days ago
Honestly Chikaonda is a failed CEO. Enafe timangoona!!! Instead of Turning Around the so called sick companies, he resorted to selling them. I know selling is one strategy BUT not where the market is abundant. Seriously, nobody could Claim that there was/is no market for Glass to warrant disposal of PG Industries!! He thought PTC could compete with technologically advanced “swipe Till” foreign super markets at the time his employees at PTC were/are made to memorise Prices of items in the Shop!! With the booming Construction Industry NO sane manager could Tell the world that there is NO business for… Read more »
Rester
Guest
6 months 13 days ago

Chikaonda is an intelligent man, he is a man of economics. If u say Government wrote a letter to PRESS six months ago, I started thinking way back, that was October. During the graduation ceremony in Chiradzulo that is Catholic University, Chikaonda Schooled government on what can happen if it cancel only one rally. May be because of that speech government started looking on weaknesses of PRESS. But frankly speaking Chikaonda is brilliant man. If it is a mistake then everybody does so.

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