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Parastatal arrears irk Vice President

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Gospel Kazako

Vice President, Saulos Chilima, has condemned the Malawi Post Corporation (MPC) and Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for poor business performance that has resulted in the parastatals owing billions of Kwacha to service providers.

He further slammed the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (Macra) for what he called being a political regulator instead of a communications regulator.

This follows a series of meetings the Vice President conducted with the parastatals on Wednesday.

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It has transpired that MPC has not made profits since its unbundling 20 years ago and has accumulated debts amounting to K1.6 billion in utility bills and statutory obligations as well as K6.3 billion in taxes, Macra levy and licences.

MBC has a K4.9 billion tax arrears and K1.2 billion in pension arrears of which it was seeking a bailout from the government.

Writing on his facebook page, Chilima reiterated that there will be no bailout for the parastatals.

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“Both MBC and MPC have the potential to get out of the situation but they must run as a business while strengthening their social obligations,” Chilima wrote.

He indicated that implementation of their turnaround strategies would help improve the parastatals business situation.

“MPC has presented an ambitious and exciting turnaround plan that, if well implemented, could change fortunes for the institution that is stuck in perennial losses. The four key projects in the MPC turnaround strategy, namely cost reduction, postal network restructuring, automating business processes and growing revenue through introduction of post bank and digital finance services is the way to go if MPC is to remain relevant in a digital world.

“On its part, the MBC’s three – year turnaround strategy in programming, infrastructure, investment and commercialisation also has the potential to turn the broadcaster into an efficient, effective and professional institution that is admired and supported by all Malawians,” Chilima wrote.

Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, who was part of the meeting as a line Minister for Macra also weighed in to rebuke the wastage of financial resources at the institution.

He said Macra will be sanitised through a process that will include replacement of staff that were caught in the web of toxic politics at the expense of serving Malawians.

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