Malawi Government says it has been informed by Shoprite that the company will close its shop in Zomba and lay off 25 employees.
Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule made the remarks in Parliament today while responding to a question from Member of Parliament for Zomba Chisi Mark Botomani who wanted a clarification on social media rumours that retail chain, Shoprite, is closing its business in Malawi.
In her response, Kamtukule said Shoprite has communicated to the government that the company is closing its Zomba U-Save.
“We received a letter two days ago in which the company indicated that it intends to lay off 25 members off staff that were working at the Zomba U-Save shop,” said Kamtukule.
The minister added that her ministry will ensure that the retrenched employees are compensated.
She, however, clarified that Shoprite, which has shops in Mzuzu, Blantyre and Lilongwe, is not closing its business entirely in Malawi.
“Shoprite is here to stay,” said Kamtukule, adding that the jobs of the other Shoprite employees are intact.
Also speaking on the issue, Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe said a government delegation comprising cabinet ministers met Shoprite management and was told that the Zomba U-Save was not making profits due to stiff competition.
“They have been making losses with the Zomba U-Save and it was not sustainable anymore and what they have done is to take the stock from Zomba U-Save and put it to Chichiri Shoprite (in Blantyre).
“They confirmed to us that the five remaining Shoprite shops are profitmaking shops. We have asked them to put the commitment in writing and they are consulting their South Africa headquarters but the assurance that they have given is that they intend to stay because they have good business in Malawi,” said Gwengwe.
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