Mulli determined to move on despite ‘sanctions’: Conglomerate celebrate founder’s life

One of the country’s Malawian owned conglomerates Muli Brothers Limited (MBL) group of companies has marked seven years since the death of the company’s founder Lacton Mulli with a renewed vision to spur the company’s success despite several challenges facing the company at the moment.

Speaking at a memorial ceremony held at the Mulli family home at Horo, Nyezerera village in Traditional Authority Kaduya’s area in Phalombe, the group’s Chairman and Managing director Leston Mulli hailed what he called the solid foundations with which MBL was set up by its departed founder as the major reason it continues to thrive in the face of prevailing political and economic  circumstances.

Leston who is the oldest son of the seven surviving sons of the MBL founder said his father instilled in them (children) a spirit of hard work, focus and perseverance which he said is helping the company to survive and grow despite the unfavourable conditions and also seven years after the founder died.

“We have managed to live his [Lacton] dream and it is our belief that he is a proud father wherever he is resting. Since his death we have managed move the company from where  he left, we have broaden the sectors of our operations and we are now even in other countries in Southern and Eastern  Africa,” he said.

Mulli at the memorial ceremony
Mulli at the memorial ceremony

“We are facing challenges yes, we have a government that is trying to sink us by denying us business opportunities, but we are determined to move on and grow even further for our fathers legacy  and for the pride of the nation being one of the few biggest Malawian own company,” he said.

MBL according to Leston has grown from being just a business of buying and selling farm produce to a fully fledged company working various sectors of the economy such transport and communication among others.

This year’s memorial has been held when the company is experiencing numerous challenges that have slowed business forcing the company to downsize its workforce by at least half, according to Mulli.

The major factors he said has been the alleged sanctions imposed on his company by the current government restricting government departments, agencies, and ministries from doing business with MBL.

MBL was one of the major suppliers of various goods and services to government. They were among other a major player in the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisip) since its inception in 2006.

Lacton Muli  was born on February 12, 1944 and passed away on December 22, 2006. He was 52 years old.

Speakers during the memorial service who included members of the clergy drawn from the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP), the Catholic Church and others hailed the departed businessman for educating his children whom they said are able to take his legacy further.

In his sermon drawn from Psalms 124 verses 1-8 and Mathews 25 verses 20-30, Reverend Leonard Mmangisa  urged wealthy parents to emulate the example demonstrated by late Lacton Muli whom he said prepared his children to take over from him by giving them proper education.

He also spoke against the spirit of dependence and laziness, rather appealed for a spirit of hard work saying it is the only legitimate way to achieve and live a good legacy.

“Proud should be a father or parent who invest in the future not only in his or her children but the grand children as well.  This is what the late Lacton Muli did and this is a vision and legacy worth emulating,” said Mmangisa.

And taking her turn Bishop Chika from Love of God Church urged directors of the MBL to continue the spirit of giving and sharing with the poor, saying it is what pleases God and blesses people the most.

Also speaking at the same ceremony Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Director of Women Patricia Kaliati bemoaned the discrimination that MBL is allegedly suffering at the hands of the current government.

“It is unfortunate that a government which is busy calling for foreign investors and fails to promote businesses of its own citizens. It is busy giving awards to people from outside the country when there are people in this country who have achieved even better things,” said Kaliati.

She also spoke against the mass looting of tax payer’s money in government describing it as a sign of leadership that is not in control.

Kaliati said the situation has completely dented the image of women as being weaker leaders who can easily be manipulated.

Former first lady Callista Mutharika was guest of honour at the ceremony that attracted an estimated 5000 guests, comprising family friends, business representatives, politicians and members of the community.

The memorial sermon was followed by a visit to the grave site where the business icon was buried where family members, friends and others lay their wreaths.

Paying respects to Lacton Mulli
Paying respects to Lacton Mulli
The clergy preaching at the ceremony
The clergy preaching at the ceremony

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