By Mc Donald Chapalapata, Contributor:
Minister of Information Gospel Kazako Friday engaged Press Corporation Limited (PCL) executive management on the future of struggling Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL), where government has a 20 percent stake.
Kazako said the engagement with PCL, a majority shareholder in MTL after privatisation of the government entity in 2005, was one way of showing that the government is doing things differently by following up on its investments.
“We are trying to reconstitute ourselves and review the way we do things. We have interest in MTL and we would like to appreciate what our fellow shareholders are doing in making MTL vibrant. We want, you our fellow shareholders, to appreciate that the way we were doing things in the past will have to change,” Kazako said.
PCL Group Chief Executive Officer George Partridge said MTL was geared to expand its presence in the telecommunications sector now that it has an integrated licence and is looking for ways of raising capital.
“It is true that, since we acquired MTL in 2006, it has not posted any profits and the decline of the company was as a result of the heavy indebtedness and lack of capital as most of the shareholders could not invest in the company.
“There have been some technological changes and MTL hands were tied because the licence it had did not allow it to operate wireless technology but now things have changed,” Partridge said.
He said some of the debts owed to MTL were from the government and parastatals.
“If it was an individual like me, they were just going to cut me out but we cannot cut out hospitals or State House; we also have a responsibility towards our country,” Partridge added.
He said with the new integrated licence, MTL would revamp its operations and that it is in the process of finding capital to bounce back as a telecommunications giant in the country.