People’s Trading Centre (PTC) employees and suppliers have petitioned Parliament to investigate the sale of PTC from Press Corporation to Tafika Holdings Limited, arguing the sale was illegal.
The employees and suppliers yesterday stormed Parliament Building entrance to deliver their petition.
Reads the petition in part: “Investigate the purchaser ‘Tafika Holdings’ if it was capable of buying PTC or was just a conduit purchaser in order for PTC to be declared insolvent while it is no longer a Press Corporation Subsidiary for Press Corporation to run away from liabilities.”
The petitioners also want Parliament to request Press Corporation to pay what is due to them, arguing the employees were not paid salaries for months while the suppliers were not paid money for the goods that they supplied to PTC shops.
“Most of these employees have become destitute after being evicted from rented houses due to failure to pay rent. The sale of PTC and again liquidation order has caused extreme financial stress to so many people, especially employees who went home with nothing after working for so many years,” further reads the petition.
One of the employees, Moses Banda, said they also plan to hold vigils at the Spar Complex in Lilongwe to push for their salaries.
He said people are suffering because of the decision to sell the company.
Thyolo Central legislator Ben Phiri who received the petition on behalf of Speaker of National Assembly Catherine Gotani Hara, said he will deliver the petition to the Speaker who will ensure that the petition is brought before the August House for members of Parliament to discuss.
He was optimistic that the petition will be discussed during this sitting of Parliament.
“Once it is on the floor we will be able to discuss it as a house and probably come up with a resolution.
“Among the issues they are raising is that an investigation be done into the sale of PTC to check whether it was legal or illegal and whether dues have been paid. That we will do as a house as long as we push and find a slot to discuss this,” said Phiri.
In the past 20 years, PTC has been closing down stores across the country and after the purchase by Tafika Holdings, all shops that were still operating remain closed, a development attributed to a strategy for growth which the new owners have.