MCP bringing back ‘Press Trust’ through newly registered Kokoliko Holdings

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.

Daud Sulemani: MCP to create 1 million jobs through Kokoliko Holdings
Makata: Board chairperson  of Kokoliko Holdings

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.

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Lady Di
Lady Di
8 months ago

Kokoliko v. Press Trust: it is good to put the two in competition to see which will bring more value to Malawi. Unless Press Trust upgrades itself and push PCL to shape up, I’ll put my tambala on Kokoliko. PT has been too sleeping, too bureaucratic, too norrow-minded, too comfy. It is time to put some fire under their behind

Maser
Maser
8 months ago

What does our laws say about an owner like PCL owning more than one Telecommucations companies and competing for the same customers? I feel this is very unethical and that’s why PCL guys were infuencing their interests on TNM and MTL, when a bank buys another bank, they simply merge and not operate as separate entities, how is this not possible in Telecommunications sector? MACRA, Completions and Fair commission needs to advise us on this, something is not adding up honestly in the way we interpret our laws

Regulatory Analyst (CFTC)
Regulatory Analyst (CFTC)
8 months ago
Reply to  Maser

This well said. CFTC needs to speak up about this especially considering that PCL is using its ownership of 2 telecoms to prevent, restrict and distort competition and fairness to an appreciable extend in Malawi. Over the year, PCL has left a dozens of trails to prove this point. They must not let to continue hence the importance of organizing challenges at institutional levels as well as at regulatory ones. There are plenty of anti-competitive cases at CFTC to guide the commission to go after PCL and its “very competent” management. It beats me that management has not foreseen this… Read more »

Maser
Maser
8 months ago

So how do we engage competitions and fair commission on this? What are the steps? On MACRA?

Maser
Maser
8 months ago

How do we go about this so that we kick start this issue at corporate level and regulatory level MACRA and CFTC? Please guide us through

Corona King
Corona King
8 months ago

Very correct boss, iam very much amazed that such trend has been happening the last 10 yrs without even no one to hit them back, PCL has abused its role on this putting MTL ona very diffult situation at the expesne of TNM, yet TNM was created by MTL, i wonder what role MACRA plays as a regulator, its disgusting, someone needs to take up this and report to them and get fixed, the data must fall movemnet in social media wouldnt have been there if MTL was allowed to operate freely, PCL has tied MTL to its garage, while… Read more »

Founding employee of CFTC
Founding employee of CFTC
8 months ago
Reply to  Maser

James Khaphale, Rex Nyohonda and Lewis Kulisewa must take on this matter of unfair investment practice and apply substantial penalties that will come in handy to CFTC’s coffers

Airtel man
Airtel man
8 months ago

It is clear that PCL has not lived up to the competitive advantages that the country has granted it at huge cost to the population. As the owner of TNM and MTL and Malawi and the late Malawi one, PCL bears the responsibility of Malawi’s poor teledensity (both for mobile and for data). This is not surprising as PCL has become a master of quick fixes to the detriment of MTL, Malawian consumers and the tax payers. Now comes CFTC. Lets see how things go

Corona King
Corona King
8 months ago
Reply to  Airtel man

Very true, a very terrible company which has failed to live up to it’s billing, PCL is a big shame

Ignatius Chilunda
Ignatius Chilunda
8 months ago
Reply to  Maser

I would that this Kokoliko Holdings belongs to a certain Political Party. Let us wait and see. As a country we should remind one another how Press was established during the time of Kamuzu

Financial analyst
8 months ago

Press Trust is now under major threats. The trustees must take matters in their hands before this Kokoliko thing grow to challenge. You know that government support can mean a lot. So the trustees must focus in bringing shareholder’s value to PCL. Look into the Management and juice it up. Currently the PCL management is too weak, too shallow, too slow, too short-termist, too egocentric and loyal to their own pockets, too aloof, too insensitive towards problem companies such as PTC and MTL, too risk adverse and too dependent on incompetent advisers such as Shiraz Yusuf. The trustees are just… Read more »

Professor Economics
Professor Economics
8 months ago

This financial adviser hit all key notes of what is going on with PCL. PT has just appointed 3 new board members plus its executive secretary on the board of directors of PCL. PT controls PCL’s board. Old Mutual’s rep has no voice. It is up to PT to make things happen now that PT has a new competitor who will have the favors of the government. I agree that PCL cannot get things right without drastic changes. Its management is weak and its decision making process is slow and unreliable. Its dependency on fake adviser such as Shiraz Yusuf… Read more »

Unemployed graduate
Unemployed graduate
8 months ago

Lets hope that PT and the new directors will ask rigorous questions to PCL management. No more joking around and no more dining or wining board meetings

Thomas M
Thomas M
8 months ago

Press Trust needs to deliver better result. Its return on asset (ROA) is far too minimal to give them a passing grade. PT is an asset manager and as such it depends on to performance of its companies. Sadly PCL is disappointing, to say the least.

Wankulu Wamudzi
Wankulu Wamudzi
8 months ago

Kokoliko Holding is biting more than it can chew. Careful for indigestion my friends. Careful okay? Things were hard before covid 19 and they will be a lot harder after covid 20. Take it easy, you big bosses full of money

Madiba
Madiba
8 months ago

Press Corporation has failed to served the Malawian people. It is time fixing time. They now have 3 new directors representing Press Trust. These new directors must have opened eyes and really look after the house. The laissez-faire of the past must stop. Management needs to be accountable to the situation of each and every asset, no matter how small it may be. Game changing time has come and lets enjoy the show

Inspector Gadget
Inspector Gadget
8 months ago

UTM must veto this Kokoliko initiative and focus on restructuring the old fashion way: bring good management, partner with good partners, increase productivity and competitiveness, set performance targets at all levels along with sanctions and bonus system, reduce constraints to private sector growth, and more. This is what transformation is all about. I expect the Veep and the State President to have a serious talk. Socialism is death as it is tantamount to poverty to all

James Banda
James Banda
8 months ago

Maybe it me who is naive. But I doubt if what I am reading here is true. I know that MCP has a youth with called Kokoliko. If what is said in this article had come from a senior party member I could have believed. I believe the writer has his own agenda and it seems he has achieved it.

Master
Master
8 months ago
Reply to  James Banda

And you don’t see that Daudi Suleman is being quoted in that article, what else do you need as evidence? If it’s a lie by now they could have refuted these allegations, they want to defraud us these these party establishments, I would have been happy if they came as govt projects and not some stupid kokoliko shenanigan agendas

Ngoni
Ngoni
8 months ago

It has began and Malawians are once again clapping hands. For starters, who is financing this project? Why the name Kokoliliko which has clear party overtones when it is meant to benefit Malawians. Truly, this is not the kind of Malawi that we need.

Tippex
Tippex
8 months ago
Reply to  Ngoni

Nobody is stopping you from starting your own initiative , there is so much that can be done to move our country forward, don’t waste your time with negativity be creative

Watson
Watson
8 months ago
Reply to  Tippex

as part of the ruling party MCP should not be opening businesses now. Why did they not do it in the past?. it obviously is suspicious. If UTM had decided to come up with this company and mention these projects it would not sit well with the president because it would obviously be viewed as suspicious.

Yes!
Yes!
8 months ago

I would rather have this than Cadets who painted themselves blue and wasted so much time being unproductive members of society, I will take this anytime over Cadets who were being used by DPP pano they have nothing to do,

Lablab
Lablab
8 months ago
Reply to  Yes!

what the DPP did was evil but this is also wrong. it’s not about undervaluing Malawians to accept another evil but to just say no to what is wrong. This is wrong

Tsogolo langa
Tsogolo langa
8 months ago

Great initiative!!! lets bring Malawi its lost glory, watsala-watsala, leave negativity behind amane sakufuna asiyeni, leave the nay sayers behind, dont you worry about them

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