Chilima cries for the perennial loss-making Malawi Posts Corp: Tells Macra to be apolitical

Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima has expressed worry over the perennial losses the Malawi Posts Corporation (MPC) has been making since it was unbundled from the Malawi Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (MPTC) some 20 years ago.

Vice President Chilima with Minister Kzakpo (l) confer during the meeting
Chilima tells Macra management to immediately de-politicize
The meeting in Blantyre

Chilima made the remarks in Blantyre on Wednesday at the start of his technical meetings with parastatal organizations based in the Southern Region to appreciate the reforms being implemented and the turnaround strategies that we agreed during the last time we engaged them.

The Vice President was scheduled to meet five parastatal organizations today along, starting with MPC, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) in the first half of the day.

Chilima said he was pleased to note that there is positivity in approach from management teams in how they are embracing the reforms.

“At this stage, it is the acceptance that is important. As they say, the first stage of healing is to accept that something is wrong and must be corrected,” he said.

“However, it is worrying to note that MPC has not made profits since the unbundling 20 years ago, but instead it has accumulated debts amounting to K1.6 billion in utility bills and statutory obligations as well as K6.3 billion in taxes, MACRA levy and licences.

“On this, I have strongly emphasised that the government will not go into the habit of bailouts of institutions that fail to perform. As a business, they must make money and meet their statutory obligations without fail. An institution that is commercial in nature must make money. And this is what we want to do with MPC,” said Chilima.

He, however, expressed delight that MPC presented an ambitious and exciting turnaround plan that, if well implemented, could change fortunes for the institution that is stuck in perennial losses.

Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, said the four key projects in the MPC turnaround strategy, namely cost reduction, postal network restructuring, automating business processes and growing revenue through introduction of post bank and digital finance services is the way to go if MPC is to remain relevant in a digital world.

The country’s second-in-command also observed that MACRA has been embarking on a number of reforms aimed at availing affordable ICT services to the people of Malawi, pointing out that that this far, the progress is commendable in some areas.

These reform areas include dynamic spectrum pricing, introduction of smart cities where service delivery within the city should be e-driven with free Wi-Fi hot spots in designated areas as well as the National Addressing Project which has seen postal codes already gazetted and developed.

“On a new reform area, I strongly suggested that MACRA should have a discussion with MPC over MPC’s 120 post offices across the country that have become non-economic. Through a proper business synergy, these post offices could be turned into MACRA’s tele-centres while keeping some core postal services with MACRA paying for rentals to MPC.

“However, I am appalled with the way MACRA has been operating and conducting itself over the years. I have told the management team that they are a regulator of communications and not politics. I have warned management to immediately de-politicize. I have told them that in this administration of His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, they must free themselves from political bondage and work as professionals,” said Chilima.

The Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, who was part of the meeting as a line Minister for MACRA, also weighed in to rebuke the wastage of financial resources at the institution.

Kazako vowed to move earth and mountain to ensure that MACRA is sanitized through a process that will include replacement of staff who were caught in the web of toxic politics at the expense of serving Malawians.

Vice President Chilima assured that despite these obstacles, the Tonse government is determined to make progress.

“We will deal with anything to make progress in each and every parastatal organization. As a country we must move forward,” he said.

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Moto Moto Village
Moto Moto Village
9 months ago

Bwana Chilima do you in your heart believe that there is anything such as being apolitical in President Chawera and MCP? If you do you fool yourself. Chakwera and MCP will not allow anything to be apolitical or better word is nonpartisan. Chakwera looks to Kamuzu for inspiration and for his political philosophy. 5 years is too long. By the next election we may not have any semblance of democracy.

Khima
Khima
9 months ago

Post office vuto ndi anthu ogwila ntchito basi ambiri sadziwa why they are there and what postal service is all about.

Kwao Gule
Kwao Gule
9 months ago

Kodi Lazalo akugwila nthito yanji? This knowlegeable and experienced man should have been sterling the ship

The sniper.
The sniper.
9 months ago
Reply to  Kwao Gule

Umbuli ndimatendatu Wawa, Chakwera ndi Chilima amakumana almost every day and or talk every day, what Chilima do Chakwera has a word on it! Now mukufuna Chakwera naye azipita nawo where Chilima is going? Kodi mmutumo zilimo ndithu ziubongo kapena muli mtchentche zaku chimbudzi basi?

Central
Central
9 months ago
Reply to  The sniper.

#The Sniper…Isiye mbuli iyi……………….! M’mutu mwake muli madzi apachithaphwi!!

Justice for all
Justice for all
9 months ago

Go ahead Mr vp we need to see moving forward not backwards as it is at moment

Whiplash
Whiplash
9 months ago

I would gladly advise MPC staff and managment to study and do their homework on how royal mail have survived, adapted and improvised even when we have emails and courier services. They have a serious potential to turn this around because they have a readily available infrastructure. All they need is the right team who are driven, motivated and most importantly customer oriented. One of the ideas I have for MPC is to work with RTD at district level to renew licenses so people don’t have to drive all the way to the main cities only to be told no… Read more »

Chigumbuli
Chigumbuli
9 months ago
Reply to  Whiplash

Great ideas. So at post office, we are to have RTD for licence, Immigration for Passports, NRB for national IDs and MACRA providing network connectivity.

Kanyimbi
Kanyimbi
9 months ago
Reply to  Chigumbuli

Yes and this will reduce corruption.

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