Government has bailed out troubled AHL Group which had two of its Auction Floors put up for sale by a local bank last week as a result of a huge K44 billion loss.
Secretary for Agriculture Grey Nyandule Phiri boasted during a Tobacco Conference in Mangochi last week that government would not allow the Auction floors to be sold.
“Let me assure you that government will do everything possible not to let the Auction Floors be sold,” Nyandule assured the tobacco players.
Just two days after this pronouncement, AHL Group flighted adverts in local newspapers assuring the public that the two auction floors, Mzuzu and Chinkhoma would not be sold.
“AHL Group wishes to inform Tobacco industry stakeholders, tobacco farmers in particular and the general public that all its existing tobacco selling floors including Chinkhoma and Mzuzu Floors are not on sale and will continue to be available for use by all our stakeholders as normal.”
“AHL Group appreciates that these facilities are of national strategic importance and an asset to the to the Malawi economy. The floors are there to provide a market place for tobacco farmers so that they can sell their tobacco smoothly, earn a living and support their families and communities,” reads the statement in part.
KThe statement, however, fails short in mentioning how AHL Group will pay for almost K4 billion that the local bank is asking for the two auction floors.
However, inside sources privy to the issue, disclosed that government has provided a bail out using tax payers money to save AHL Group.
“Government stake in AHL Group through Admarc is about 43% and the rest are private shareholders and one wonders why government should use our hard earned tax money to bail out a private company. Did they get Parliament approval? Something fishy is going on here,” said the source.
“The Public Affairs Committee of parliament has the powers of summoning the Minister of Finance and other officials to explain to Malawians on how and why they arrived at a decision of bailing out a private company,” added the source.
“This loss of K44 billion was made by people who are around and no punishment was given to them but are being rewarded everyday and it is unfair that poor people should be paying for negligence of others just because they are related to the powers that be,” he said.
Insiders believe that the AHL loss was as a result of diverting resources for other uses for the ruling DPP through its Chief Executive Officer Evance Matabwa who is a relation to President Peter Mutharika and that government decision to bail out AHL Group is as a result of this connection.
All the other managers who served under Matabwa when the loss was recorded were sacrificed leaving out Matabwa onlyFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :