Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule has said her ministry will engage Press Corporation limited and Tafika Holdings to discuss the welfare of Peoples Trading Centre (PTC) employees following sale of the company.
In February this year, PCL sold PTC to Tafika Holdings at K6 billion, a move which did not go well with the employees who demanded reversal of the decision over fears that the new investor might not turn around the chain store.
Speaking during the just ended meeting of Parliament, Kamtukule said officials from her ministry have already met the PTC management and will be meeting employees to discuss the issue.
She then added that the ministry will also meet PCL and Tafika Holdings and expressed hope that the meetings will protect the welfare of the employees.
“Tafika Holdings has expressed commitment to work with the ministry to ensure smooth transition and it is my sincere prayer that these meetings are going to amicably conclude,” she said.
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Sosten Gwengwe said intervention into matters of private companies is difficult because Malawi operates in a liberalised market, which he believes has failed the country.
“In the interim, however, I am assured that the issue of severance pay and all other benefits is being considered and all the people will be paid, whether working for PTC or Spar brand,” he said.
PCL acting Chief Executive Officer Lyton Chithambo welcomed the move in an interview, indicating that the conglomerate is willing to explain to any authority that wants to have concrete information on the matter even though PCL is out of PTC.
“We welcome the minister, just like we appeared before the Ministry of Trade and Industry therefore we will engage the minister and give information that we have been giving since we sold the company,” he said.
Executive Chairperson for Tafika Holdings Arson Malola also expressed similar sentiments that they are looking forward to the meeting because they consider the ministry as one key partner.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.