Things are all not rosy for Malawi’s media giant, Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL) or the Times Group as the company is set to lose its key staff.
The company is headed to lose three of its editors and a bureau chief due to fear of ‘job insecurity’ and ‘lack of incentives’ for its workers.
Arnold Chachacha Munthali who edits the Weekend Times has found green pastures in the corridors of British Council, Idris Ali Nassah of the Sunday Times is also reported to have clinched a lucrative post with the United Nations (UN), while others are crossing to the rival The Nation Publication Limited (NPL).
Sources indicate the exodus follows a shoddy decision by the publication’s management to remove of some of the benefits attached to four’s positions, which include the provision of fuel allowances to those driving company cars.
Some managers at the company, including the editors, have stopped using company cars opting for personal ones.
“It is said the company is making losses and as one controlling measure, they have to remove some of the benefits provided to those in managerial positions including the editors.
“The company cut off all fuel allocations to those driving official cars among other benefits. There is also registered lack of job motivation. People are fired willy-nilly, creating fear in most of us,” disclosed an internal source.
Meanwhile, it is only Munthali – who is also a columnist – that has officially tendered his resignation letter, according to sources. The rest are keeping their cards close to their chest and would ‘take the management by surprise’.
BNL despite being voted as Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa-Malawi) Print House of the Year 2011 and having reputable and award winning team of journalists, is well known for firing employees at will. Every year journalists are kicked out of the institution owned by late former president of Malawi, Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s family.
The Group publishes Daily Times, Friday’s Weekend Times – a scandal sheet, Malawi News, and Sunday Times, all of which are on its online business alternative to news sources.