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PTC workers stage demonstrations in Lilongwe

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Scores of workers from PTC, Food Lovers and Spar Thursday staged demonstrations in Lilongwe against the way the company was sold by Press Corporation Limited to Tafika Holdings Limited (THL).

The workers have since petitioned Labour Minister Vera Kamtukule to help them get their dues.

Among others, in the petition delivered at Lilongwe District Council, the workers say they have gone for two months without pay since the company was sold to THL.

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The workers are also demanding severance pay for the years they have served under PTC.

They have also faulted the company for not remitting the funds it was deducting from their salaries to pension fund managers and Sacco.

One of the workers, Lonny Kanjo, said the future of the company looks blurred as most of the shops have been closed and workers sent on leave.

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Speaking after receiving the petition, Lilongwe District Commissioner, Lawford Palani, said he would deliver the petition to Kamtukule.

“I would like to thank you for holding peaceful demonstrations and urge you to go back peacefully as well,” Palani said.

Recently, THL chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, Arson Malola, said following the approval of the Sale and Purchase Agreement of PTC by the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) on May 30 2022, his company began settling the debts it took over as the purchase price.

In a statement on March 11 this year, co-signed by Malola and PTC Chief Executive Officer Ferdinand Mchacha, THL was acquiring PTC as a foundation for its regional business.

As part of the transaction, Press Corporation took over K12.5 billion of the liabilities while THL inherited about K6 billion of the debts in lieu of the purchase price.

Mchacha said in a July 1 circular that the company temporarily closed most of its stores from July 2 to 31, 2022 to give management and the shareholder the necessary opportunity to re-brand all Spar stores to Peoples Stores and reconfigure and give space for the much-needed equipment maintenance.

“This period will also give management and the shareholder an opportunity to address various staff issues which include: payment of June 2022 salaries, pension contribution arrears, Sacco remittances arrears, Medical Aid Society of Malawi contributions arrears and demands for severance allowances,” he said.

PTC started its operations in Malawi in 1973.

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