Blantyre Print fires 44, reporters get the sack

Malawi’s leading newspaper publishing company, Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL), is today [Tuesday] expected to fire 44 employees according to sources there.

Sources say the company is firing the employees because of tax imposed on newspapers and shortage of foreign currency.

“Our fingers are crossed. We are just waiting for the fate. We are told that we shall get letters today (Tuesday). The company cites shortage of forex and tax imposed on newspapers as some of the main reasons for the chopping,” one employee said.

Amongst the sacked are Sunday Times editor James Mphande and advertising manager Harold Nasoro.

They also include reporters  Macdonald Chapalapata, Rex Chikoko, Leonard Sharra, Watipaso Mzungu and Howard Mlozi.

Management of Blantyre Printing and Publishing, whose managing director is renowned accountant Leonard Chikadya, could not immediately comment.

But trends at the company show that every year it fires people.

Another senior employee said, “It is a tradition that this company fires people every year. We fail to understand why it happens like that. We make huge profits but management tells us that there are no profits. It is bad to always put employees in suspense.”

“Since Mr. Chikadya took the company, his administration has been characterised by dismissals. It seems he is happy with making other poor suffer,” another employee added.

The company belongs to the first president of the country, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

BNL, Malawi’s oldest publishing company, led by General Manager Dr. Tikhala Chibwana, publishes the Daily TimesMalawi News  and Sunday Times.

It also published The Weekend Times, the country’s first scandal tabloid which has been on the market for over one year. Among other contents, the paper targets fun lovers and exposes various ills of society such as love scandals as well as corruption issues.

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