Malawi media giant Times slash its workforce, Mr Splash out with 19 others: ‘Worrying for journalism’

Malawi’s giant and oldest media group, the Times Group has retrenched 20 members of staff, including television star Geoffrey Kapusa famously known as ‘Mr Splash’ as the company swims in stormy financial waters.

Kapusa: Among those sacked

The revenue collectors, the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has been closing down the company due to unremitted tax of a staggering K1 billion.

Sources at the company say the financial situation at the company is so dire that sometimes salaries are not paid on time.

Staff also said apart from the MRA, the company fails to remit pension money to pension fund managers, Old Mutual, saying staff retrenched three years ago are yet to get their pension money.

Another prominent journalist retrenched is Moses Chitsulo.

The list of the casualties  including newsroom staff  Prince Henderson, George Mhango,  Carol Kandiero, and Benjamin Muona.

Former director of programs at MBC Albert Mungomo resigned after being tipped of the impending dismissal.
A credible source at Times confirmed the development saying the action has left the newsroom of the media empire owned by former president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda with skeleton staff.

The management accuses the ruling Democratic Progressive Party  (DPP) of politising the MRA, saying the closures are due to political influence.

The media group, which has a daily newspaper, a weekend newspaper, a Sunday paper, a radio and a television station is notorious for attacking the government and tows the line of the main opposition, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

The retrenchments are yearly occurrence at the Times Group.

The development has been received with anxiety among journalists and journalism students as the profession seems to create no space for a number of journalism students graduating in both public and private colleges and universities.

One of the graduates, speaking on conditions of anonymity said it’s all gloomy for journalism students.

“This is bad. It just shows that there is no future in this profession when you look at Bachelor’s of Journalism and Communication graduates, Masters  graduates jobless,” he said, having been searching for a job three years after graduating.

He also said it was unfortunate that the decision to fire has come barely after being on a recruitment overdrive in the past six months.

“Some of those fired have just been recruited and you wonder why they could employ in the first place.”

Cuts are being made across the sector as newspapers struggle to replace lucrative print advertising revenue amid a continuing shift online by readers and increasing competition for news delivery from the likes Nyasa Times.

It presents a very worrying situation for the future of newspapers.

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Mwendapadera 2
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Mwendapadera 2

Companies are closing and someone is saying the economy is doing well,really? when did we start measuring the performance of an economy using number of cars a country is importing per time? are we not supposed to measure economic performance based on number of employment we have created.Bingu dream was to make Malawi an exporting country and not the other way round. With this mediocrity of leadership the country can not develop.

Mwendapadera 2
Guest
Mwendapadera 2

Its time Times newspaper should invest in online media,Zinthu zasitha pano,why should I by a newspaper at 700 instead of just log in to nyasatimes and read all the stories ?if I need a job I will visit sites likes my job,if I need vehicles I will log in to be forward

LIPHAVA NAMANDWA .NGOLINGOLIWA
Guest
LIPHAVA NAMANDWA .NGOLINGOLIWA

This is a sad development. This is what a lot of companies will go through in the next few months to come. Those of you working in struggling companies must also be afraid. They must be very afraid. Zili ngati maliro izi. Do you guys think ESCOM will survive? The DPP Lomwe suppliers have over-supplied the institution with useless materials . This institution will be next. Its time to jump ship and leave the DDP cadets conduct the last funeral rites for ESCOM. Thank you DPP. Thank you Peter Muthalika for killing ESCOM and celebrating the death of a company… Read more »

lilian
Guest
lilian

i saw it coming. These people want to throw stones to a police station when they know that they have twist of marijuana in their pockets. Brian Banada and George Kasakula are the people who have made this company sink. If you continue rediculing government and the president by implication people who deal with government and the president would not be confortable to deal with times. These stupid dudes were deducting tax yet not remiting and above all stealing peansoion deductions for their employee. Right now most people who retired have not got their money and they are contaplating of… Read more »

Chigoga
Guest
Chigoga

Times Group is not only the media house that employ journalists. There are some any media houses around including community radios where journalist can offer their services. Do not paint gloomy picture for journalists as if TimesGroup is the only employer.
Secondly, journalism is a very diverse filed. Some journalists can be employed as corporate communicators or PROs. Look Innocent Chitosi is now at Escom as Public Relations Manager. The sky is the limit. The problem for many people is that once they graduate they want to be employed by a particular company.

Mwananyanian
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Mwananyanian

True, Times Group = MCP. Glad that NyasaTimes have finally written so. And, Kasakula and co. make not even pretense to the contrary, by their actions and rhetoric. Ditto in his rubbish opeds in the rag paper. Will he even feel bad when the rag closes its doors under his watch, due his mismanagement, if only so the sake of the other employees? Time for the BOSSES to brain storm, and earn their keep by redesigning the business model maybe: and show us there is some solid matter between the ears – more than hyper criticizing the DPP government, and… Read more »

Mas ter
Guest
Mas ter

Anthu amene awononga times mohaka nayita ndi Brain Banda ndi mzake Kasakula
Too much kunyoza munthu wosalankhula wongopanga chitukuko pee
Muli ndi tsoka ndipo simunati

chikoti
Guest
chikoti

This is so sad..I think management has a lot to explain,taking the facts that just soon they were recruiting enmasse.

lubwex lubwex
Guest
lubwex lubwex

The problem of politics and propaganda. You wanted to compete with MBC in propaganda,see now who has lost. Professionalism is important in any profession. Katengeni money kwa Mia mulipile ma salary. Nde DPP ikangowinanso sibasi mutseka zitseko?……Kupusa,nxt tym work as professionals like Nation Newspaper

Nalingula
Guest
Nalingula

BandaBanda ask MCCCI many companies are struggling .The economy, electricity etc.The media business relies on Adverts from Companies and Government (Our Taxes).When companies are struggling they cut expenditures ,they can’t advertise.The govt owes the Private Sector billions ,instead of repaying the debt they are busy embezzling our taxes with the likes of Pioneer.Not all of us can be employed by DPP like you.Malawi just need a leader Can Make Things Happen!!!

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