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AHL fires 540 employees

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Rhino Chiphiko

Ahead of the opening of the tobacco market on March 31, AHL Group has retrenched over 540 people at the company and Malawi Leaf.

AHL is a subsidiary of Admarc and Admarc Chief Executive Officer Rhino Chiphiko confirmed that the development has come about due to financial challenges.

“We have retrenchments of 540 people at AHL, Malawi Leaf among Admarc subsidiaries as they were not making profits,” Chiphiko said.

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In a separate interview, Admarc Board Chairperson Alexander Kusamba Dzonzi said the board was aware that one day, there would be retrenchment at AHL.

“I think that this exercise would have best been done some other time but not now when we are about to open the Auction Floors. This exercise now is likely to have a negative impact on the morale of the personnel left to run the Auction Floors. I also think that this would have been done after the forensic audits on the entire AHL Group to identify the actual people who were siphoning money from the Group. I also think that the retrenchment would have been based on credible and quantifiable employees’ performance appraisal to avoid removing competent staff and the incompetent politically motivated staff who won’t deliver,” Dzonzi said.

According to Dzonzi, as a shareholder, they will have a clear picture once the official reports of the exercise reach their office to establish exactly whether the AHL Board followed the parent company’s advice on how to go about the exercise.

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Last year, AHL obtained a K6 billion bailout from Admarc to be used in servicing all outstanding debts as well as to embark on a restructuring process.

At Malawi Leaf, money amounting to K42 billion is said to have gone missing, prompting the board to retrench some junior staff members.

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