Massive job cuts at AHL Group

Financially struggling AHL Group, formerly Auction Holdings Limited,  has announced that it is retrenching some of its employees.

AHL workers face job loses

The company has failed to pay its employees for over four months due to financial hardships facing the group.

AHL Group, which owns and manages the country’s tobacco marketing floors and a commodity exchange among others, is owned 42 percent by the Malawi Government through Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc).

Admarc recently gave a AHL a K6 billion bailout.

A meeting to determine the decision by AHL group on whether or not it  will retrench some of its employees is expected to be held today.

AHL called for voluntary retrenchment following its decision to restructure the company, giving staff members 14 days effective January 27 to February 9 this year.

In his Cut-the-Chaff  newspaper column,  Ephraim Munthali traces the problems of AHL when late president Bingu wa Mutharika had been having a bitter feud with international tobacco buyers operating in Malawi over what Bingu believed were exploitative prices at the auction.

He writes: “The battle became so bad that Bingu later ordered the deportation of some tobacco buyer executives. In his anger, Bingu was convinced that he can do without them and when that failed and prices started crushing, Bingu knew the political cost to him and his party would be high.

“Suddenly, there was talk of establishing a locally-owned “indigenous” tobacco merchant that would take the green gold to the global market.

“The Bingu administration must have nudged Admarc—whose board and chief executive officer were Democratic Progressive Party supporters—to push AHL into setting up a tobacco buying company.”

The  columnist pointed out that the board of AHL—a company 100 percent owned by Admarc—and whose board also had links to the ruling party, quickly facilitated the idea. And just like that Malawi Leaf Limited, wholly owned by AHL, was born.

But  he noted that several important things were conveniently overlooked and those issues are haunting AHL Group today.

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Shadreck
Shadreck
5 months ago

These successive governments do nothing to promote jobs. With MRA whose thé single objective is to close all companies in Malawi, we will have a lot of unemployed peoples. We should stop them to give a future to our children.

Wakwiya ndi kadeti
5 months ago

AHL just like other parastatals was infiltrated by bandits called cadets who had no interest in developing the country but stealing to satisfy their needs. You can see that government resources were looted by looking at the houses being built in Lilongwe and other cities. AHL was a very vibrant company but with the coming of bandits udf and dpp, the company was politicized and funds were embezzled. Dpp was very careless and their agenda was to destroy Malawi to Somalia levels. Now what happens to the retrenched staff? It is not easy to get jobs these days despite the… Read more »

Kudya katatu patsiku
Kudya katatu patsiku
5 months ago

Worry not. A million jobs are in the pipeline

Busuman Banda
5 months ago

Bingu is to blame that’s what you trying to say

Kwizimba kwizombwe
Kwizimba kwizombwe
5 months ago

The major challenge that faced Auction Holdings is lack of diversification. Tobacco is facing challenges worldwide

Kwizimba kwizombwe
Kwizimba kwizombwe
5 months ago

I wish the author would articulate about the decline of prices of tobacco across the world, purchase of small tobacco companies by big farmers like Phillip Morris and JTI which has resulted into cartel business, the reduction of China purchasing from Malawi due to lack of proper trade negotiations and overall world wide tdecline of obacco products and lobbies by the WHO and anti smoke campainers as well as recommendations to curtail consumption of tobacco due to COVIF. But then he is a Malawian and Malawi has great thinkers that is why it is one of the most developed wealthy… Read more »

mtete
mtete
5 months ago

Matabwa systematically siphoned money from this company, one time a household name in company cycles, on instructions from DPP just as RBM was doing.
The company should be forensic audited after RBM a d in this connection, Tonse Alliance Leadership must show they have teeth and what it takes.

wakalekale
5 months ago

the 44 billion loss which was hidden in the audit reports is now haunting AHL.

Malawi walero
Malawi walero
6 months ago

Waku CANNAAN uja ulinkati
Kaya tikafika?
Dzayang’ana ngolo.
Boma larephela basi

Ndede
Ndede
6 months ago

It is pathetic that today you could blame Bingu, may his soul continue resting in peace, for unpaid employees at AHL. The employees were not retrenched by then and they had been paid until four months ago. Is Bingu still in charge of this country? Today and four months ago we are being governed by Tonse alliance.Why are we shielding the failures of Tonse govt and instead blame resting souls? Mavuto athu ndiosatha ndithu. Point straight….we will not reach the promised land and we are wasting our precious time. Bola kwa Pharaoh komwekuja is the song today. This happens when… Read more »

nalikuti
nalikuti
5 months ago
Reply to  Ndede

Ndede clearly you don’t appreciate the gravity of the problem. The past governement covered upd huge losses in the financials and this was uncovered by an audit. it is not this current government that has brought about the problem at AHL group. It is not politically correct to insinuate that the mess has started with the Tonse Alliance government. tiyeni nthawi zina tizitha kuyang’ana ndikufufuza bwino lomwe chatsitsa zaye kuti njobvu ithyoke myanga….

Cairo
Cairo
5 months ago
Reply to  Ndede

I agree with you and the columnist is just another fool. The idea of what Bingu (MHSRIEP) did was a very good one. We cannot continue being exploited and thats why we fought for independence. Look at what Tonse Alliance is doing, not anybody else, nonsense.

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