Pelekamoyo saves Chikadya from boot at Malawi media giant BP&P

Blantyre Printing & Publishing (BP&P) Chairman Francis Pelekamoyo has refused to fire his Managing Director Leonnard Chikadya despite the board of director’s resolution to terminate his service.

The BP&P board which include the late Kamuzu Banda’s relatives Ken Kandodo and Jane Dzanjalimodzi resolved at their meeting two weeks ago to fire Chikadya after noticing that the company is heading for a dungeon.

But in a surprise move, Pelekamoyo is said to have refused to write a letter terminating Chikadya’s employment at the printing giant.

“He told the other board members that he is ready to step down as Chairman of the board but he cannot fire Chikadya because he is a friend,” said one board member who did not want to be named.

Chikadya: On the verge

The source said the situation has left the other board members dumb founded and are contemplating the next move.

The shareholders are worried with the direction the company is taking after rivals Nation Publications Limited (NPL) have upped their game by buying the state of the art printing machine.

NPL are also employing some of the best journalists and introducing an Investigations Team which is coming up with special investigative stories, leaving Blantyre Newspapers Limited (BNL) titled wondering what is happening.

“We asked what is happening and we did not get convincing answers from Chikadya on why The Nation, which is less than 20 years old can be on top while The Daily Times, which has a rich history and is more than 100 years old, is chasing its own shadows. Our friends have employed best journalists in the country and they are much better than us,” said the source.

Exodus

Meanwhile insiders have revealed that some senior managers are leaving BP&P after noticing that all is not well at the once might printing giant which is owned by the family of the first president of Malawi the late Kamuzu Banda.

Group Financial Controller Veronica Masikini who is a close confidante of Chikadya, has indicated that she will not be renewing her contract when it expires in the next few months while Chief Accountant Leonard Chisale has tendered his resignation after securing a job with one of the top tobacco companies in Lilongwe and is serving notice.

Chikadya, who joined BP&P some eight years ago, is synonymous with retrenchments almost every year since he joined the company.

He was allegedly involved in a procurement scandal when he is said to have lost K60 million after paying the money to a middleman to buy a printing machine.

Chikadya insisted that the machine was bought from a UK company and that it would arrive in the country at the end of August this year and promised to invite Nyasa Times representatives to witness the commissioning of the machine when it arrives.

Our sources said the machine is nowhere to be seen at BP&P premises up to now.

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