Auction Holdings Limited, the flagship tobacco company, in attempts to stop publishing negative stories about the mismanagement of a 90 million dollars loan, have resorted to buying journalists. They have first targeted Times Group Editor in-chief George Kasakula and his Nation newspaper counterpart Ephraim Munthali. They are flying the two to Ethiopia with outragoues allowances of $10,000 each.
Kasakula described the AHL fraud as a loss when an audit report by Dilloite and Touche clearly spelt out mismanagement of accounts. This story was a public relations job for Evans Matabwa the Chief Executive Officer for AHL . However, Munthali has completely ignored the story.
The communications manager for AHL Thom Khanje stressed that it was the duty of the company to assist senior journalists through such tours. He said that they would rather deal with those who make editorial decisions other than business reporters or editors.
In the meantime, the parent company has advertised the position of general manager for Malawi Leaf since the incumbent Jimmy Kasamale has been earmarked for a senior position at Tobacco Control Commission since the mismanagement of the loot was shared by many at Admarc the main shareholder and there is growing fear that Kasamale might spill the beans if not handled