Memories of the old Malawi Congress Party (MCP) running the country’s key State-supported businesses have been reignited with the newly registered Kokoliko Holdings which appears like the old Press Trust with a new name.
During MCP’s 31 years of one party rule, the country key companies, in all sectors of the economy, were run as conglomerate under Press Corporation which initially was registered as Malawi Press Limited similary like the way Kokoliko Holdings has emerged.
According to Daud Suleman, Kokoliko is a vibrant youth wing of MCP and its being duly registered, it means MCP government is now taking a large share in the running of the country’s capitalist economy.
Wrote Suleman:“Kokoliliko has established a commercial vehicle, Kokoliliko Holdings LTD (KH), which has been duly registered and incorporated with the registrar. A board of directors has been instituted comprising of 13 members, of whom 33% are women.”
Suleman added that the move is to help President Lazarus Chakwera fulfill the agenda of developing Malawi in the areas of youth and women empowerment, job creation through the 1 million jobs mantra, food security, mega farming and prospering Together.
Opening its operations on September 1, Kokoliko Holdings has appointed Dan Makata as its board chairperson and a reputable law firm has been engaged as Company Secretary.
Kokoliko through another subsidiary, has applied for a broadcasting license to operate a national FM radio station and TV station on Malawi.
“Through this platform, we envisage a showcase of transformational youth and women agenda to be the headliners. We expect to go live in Jan 2021,” Suleman said.
Kokoliko is also processing the set up of a mobile phone company through a subsidiary
It will also engage women cooperative groups to form a women and youth bank in Malawi.
Kokoliko Holdings through a subsidiary has also established a security service company that provide both physical and technology security services in Malawi.
And it will establish lounges and a hotel.
In 1960 the MCP established the Malawi Press Limited for the specific purpose of printing and publishing news in a newspaper called the Malawi News which is in circulation up to the present day.
When the Malawi Press Ltd was incorporated, there were two shareholders, namely, Kamuzu Banda as President of MCP and Aleke Banda as Secretary General of the MCP. Kamuzu held 99% of the shares, and Aleke Banda held 1% and they both held those shares on behalf of the MCP.
In 1969, Press Holdings Limited was formed as a holding company for a number of companies, including Malawi Press Limited.
In 1970, MCP decided that the original shareholders of Malawi Press Ltd, namely, Kamuzu and Aleke Banda, should be shareholders of Press Holdings Ltd and Kamuzu Banda held 499,999 shares, while Aleke Banda held one share, both as nominees of the people of Malawi.
In 1973, Aleke Banda was expelled from the MCP. As a consequence of that expulsion, he was required to transfer the single share he held. He did transfer that share to another MCP nominee.
From 1974, Kamuzu Banda became Chairman of Press Holdings Ltd and Aleke Banda became Deputy Chairman and Managing Director.
However, in 1980, Aleke Banda was detained and was forced to transfer the single share he held once again. The share was transferred to the late Sydney Somanje, and when Somanje died, it was transferred to Press Holdings Ltd and on 13th May 1994, the single share was transferred to John Z U Tembo.
As time went by, Press Holdings Ltd became, in essence, a quasi-public body and enjoyed preferential treatment, for example, its loans were guaranteed by the Government. The company was considered to be a vehicle for development.
After the fall of one party dictatorship, the government of Bakili Muluzi under United Democratic Front (UDF) with Aleke Banda as finance minister, viewing the situation of the Press Trust as a trust created for the benefit of the Malawi Nation, decided to reconstructthe Trust under an Act of Parliament through the Press Trust (Reconstruction) Act, 1995 to maximise the benefit for the nation.
In 1983, Press Holdings Ltd was restructured and this was done through the Press Reconstruction Agreement dated 14th December 1983.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :