Malawi's government moves in to save beleaguered MTL
Malawi’s Minister of Information and government spokesperson Gospel Kazako has confirmed that officials are engaging Press Corporation Limited (PCL) regarding the future of Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL).
The government has a 20% shareholding in MTL, the country’s sole provider of fixed services which has reportedly been struggling due to lack of capital investment from shareholders and regulatory issues, among other reasons.
Kazako said the government’s engagement with PCL, which is a major shareholder in MTL after privatisation of the company in 2005, is evidence that it is “doing things differently” by following up on its investments.
“We are engaging PCL because we have interest in MTL and we appreciate what shareholders are doing to keep the company moving and vibrant, but we have to change the way we were doing things in the past. MTL possess a lot of questions that everyone must answer and we need to find a solution,” he added.
PCL CEO George Partridge blamed technological challenges for the company’s financial problems.
Partridge said since 2006 the company has not made any profit due, in part, to outstanding debt owed to it by the government and parastatals.
However, he added that the company is now geared to expand its presence in the telecommunications industry, now that it has been given an integrated licence.
They are looking at various ways of raising capital to make the company viable and competitive, said Partridge.
“There have been some technological challenges and MTL’s hands were tied because the licence that the company had did not allow it to operate wireless technology, but now things have changed because the new integrated licence will help revamp the company and we are in the process of finding capital investment to make it viable.”