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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31 thoughts on “Malawi govt claims Chikaonda has destroyed Press Corporation: Denies DPP meddling”

  1. Man says:

    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.

  2. pido says:

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

  3. choonadi says:

    Anthu amene mukuchita defend Chikaonda you are blindly stupid

  4. youth says:

    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 baggage. MRA one time did the same when they were reoganising and people lost their jobs. Would u say JMJ phiri then was incompetent? No! These things happen everywhere in the world. 3. Closing a business is not a sign of management failure alone. There are a lot of factors and some more beyond mngment. And also seeing a business not closing is not a sign of sucess either!

  5. Kamwela says:

    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 but just came to rip off Malawians.
    Chikaonda himself loves to work with white people. MTL had very good engineers like thge late Eric Mahuka. But he rentreched him.
    I rememver

  6. Woonela Patali says:

    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 to a day when PCL will acquire more new companies not closing. Why inviting new investors when we can afford to close the little we have?

  7. Jijoxy says:

    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?

  8. Phwisa says:

    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

  9. Mlangizi says:

    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 Steel to Warrant disposal of Press and Steel!!!

  10. Rester says:

    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.

  11. Concerned Malawian says:

    Where were you to disclose all this? What were you waiting for. You knew things were going astray but you were quiet why?

  12. Ufulu says:

    I see comments full of hate with no facts that can make such claims hold any water. I see and angry chikanenepa who wants to take advantage of this article to settle scores with Chikaonda. I see shallow mindedness in the sense that other companies that are performing wonderfully well are not being mentioned and attributed to Matthews. It is expected that some companies in a group of companies of the press corp level may not perform to the expected level. I see Pyola who was a lazy cow wanting employment when his/her performance was below the expectation. When these DPP thieves infiltrate into PCL, which used to control 30% of the economy, this country is going under. You can see the mess done in just one and half years. One day you will agree with me when you remove your political blanket off your head.

  13. masa masina says:

    PCL was the work of Kamuzu Banda. If Muluzi , Bingu, Joice Banda and Peter Muntharika were all thinking like Kamuzu, our economy would not be in such a mess. Kamuzu knew that this country needed local companies in order to develop. Muluzu killed our economy. Bingu tried to revive it, Joice Banda sold the economy to IMF/World Bank and DPP leadership has no clue so it wants to loot PCL. Shame on you!!!

  14. Gas Machine Head says:

    Green Muheya, please sort out the first sentence. Its scathing not snatching. Please!

  15. kanpoka says:

    Mwalephera kubamo A DPP inu. Zimafuna sukulu izi simungamupeze dolo ngati chikaonda.

    Viva Chikaonda, more fire MCP

  16. Mbuyawo says:

    Pa mpando wonona its not good kukhalitsapo u end up messing things siyila anthu ena to bring nzeru zina u reach equilibrium point or breakeven point

  17. Cash Gate says:

    Sizowona, nkhani ilipo ndi kaduka, mwayiwala kuti pcl chinali chuma cha malemu Kamuzu Banda, mukungofuna kuti muike anthu anu omwe mukusowa powaika,

  18. dzidzidzi says:

    Chikaonda failed to run his small taxi business a few years back and you think he could run press corp…….za ana amuna izi… degree mean nothing if you lack logic. Mike mlombwa, jack kamwendo, Mathew Khondowe, Jimmy koreia,……all these people don’t have degrees but they are successful businessmen.

  19. Iponjola boys says:

    The spent hens theory must apply even o Government. Malawi will not change until we replace the spent hens.
    Spent hens are people that have stayed in power or leadership to the extent they can not offer anything new

    Chikaonda has over stayed

    Come one you mean we don’t have new people to manage this thing

    Imagine closing PTCs I knew that was the end of him. He didn’t think. Issues affecting the nation employment is supposed to be discussed with the government. lack of this meant he wanted to sabotage Govt. by creating unemployment and these are just the consequences

    Usova Chikaonda. My advice best time to resign is when you are at peak

    Mandela style


  20. Master says:

    Chikaonda has failed Malawi, how can one be handpicked for such very senior position, if we spend time interviewing security guards, messenger, what more Group CEO for press corporation? this is abig shameeeeeeeeeeeeeee to corporate governance principles, which school did this Board of press go? they area big shame and greratest looters in Malawi than cahsgates, we are a country of cashgaters masquarading as professional experts in the name of Mathews chikaonda!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Chikanenepa says:

    Chikaonda and his Team has destroyed the Press empire because of their greed and selfishness. I was retrenched from MTL in 2007 after MTL was privatised. Chikaonda took a German firm Detecon to run MTL at the expense of Malawians. At one point MTL had 22 Germans working as Managers and Consultants. Detecon came with no investment but just to rip off Malawians. Detecon left MTL with a MK20 billion debt which it is struggling up to now. After our retrenchment there have been 3 more retrenchments. MTL is now surviving on selling its properties. So far it has sold its headquarter at Maselema, housing estate at Kwacha forcing the staff out, Limbe Exchange etc. A year ago Chikaonda hired a friend from UK as MTL CEO and he stole large sums of money through buying of dubious equipment from Portugal and ran away back to the UK. MTL is now clueless……Chikaonda has made me lova and a whole lot of Malawians. He cannot be left scot free! He has to explain his role in all this mess

  22. Tiwale says:

    MTL is always in court because of unlawful retrenchment procedures check.

  23. KINYEPERE VAVA says:


  24. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Chisomo Macholowe wakatamuka heavy chifukwa cha madilu and underseved hefty packages pamodzi ndi Chikaonda ndiye mukuwona ngati angatani apart from backing him? Achoke limodzi!

  25. Emmanuel Chimphamba says:

    Here comes the man with a funny name”Jappie”. another Nankhumwa imported from the North. Akuluakulu, tamatengani nthawi kuganiza musanatitumizire ma statement anu. Take time to think and reflect… Take a long time to mature the ideas. And relax too as the world will not end today.
    There is time for everything. The very same people who smear Chikaonda today have been hand clappers of “a very successful individual” who assisted companies to make more money with his consultancies and his being on their boards. Chikaonda , Professor, has been a hot cake in the last decade. As they say, palibe chosatha.
    Meet Chikaonda alone at Shoprite doing the shopping in Blantyre. Then he is pushing the trolley. One would know then where money goes and belongs. Just move on with your little basket.
    I only had one wish. If the people who have money invested in their home districts, in their country… they would employ so many people and share that wealth. Malawians are not like that. Rich guys show off so that the poor ones azionekera ng’amba. Malawi, as the UN says is not one of the happy countries. Malawi, a small country where everyone almost knows everybody… koma.. kudzikonda, dyera, nsanje, umfiti, miseche. that is cancerous!
    Tiye nazoni.

  26. Manyalo. says:

    How can someone a CEO for almost 14 years and now you say he is mileading. The proble u (DPP) Officials u want all organisations to be led by ur own people so u cant be criticised when necessary. Chikaonda has no debt for Govn. Dont pray dirty politics please. Let freedom of expression avail to Malawian citizens. Please!

  27. pyola says:

    Chikaonda is a failed chief exective officer. I am jobless today because of Chikaonda’s ideologies. I was miserably retrenched at MTL leaving behind dull and clueless managers and technicians. Ten years down the line look at MTL now; it is almost collapsed. No Chikaonda must go now.

  28. Msekandiana says:

    No wonder our country is not going forward. We politicize everything and everything is politics even in private companies only one third of the people do their jobs properly. The rest are busy doing politics trying to outdo each other. In the end, output is very poor. Zikakhala m’boma nanjinanji. Malawians are very pathetic. Educated people are all over but their contribution to the development of their country zero. They see education as the ticket to just sitting in the offices and eating large salaries, bonuses and allowances. Ati ntchito anagwira kale popita ku school. Our attitudes and behaviors are very mediocre. In addition, they want govt to do everything for them. I mean govt is the composition of all Malawians. If Malawians are not industrious, ethical, professional and hardworking. Then the whole system stinks.

  29. Bin Laden says:

    Timaona ngati simukuwona zomwe akuchita Chikaonda. PCL. basi inatha.

  30. BOKHO says:

    Mukuvutika chifukwa cha poor leadership of Peter Muthalika not Chikaonda as CEO of PCL that is nosense go and read again.

  31. Kaka says:





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