Restructuring of Press (Holdings) Limited

As part of the restructuring process, it is believed to be the case that Dr. Banda’s hand may have been forced to create a trust1, The Press Trust, to which he transferred all the shares he held in Press (Holdings) Limited.  On 10th February 1982, by a Trust Deed, he settled his shareholdings in Press (Holdings) Limited for the benefit of the people of Malawi.  Subsequently, on 5th March 1982, Press Trust was incorporated under the Trustees Incorporation Act (Cap 5:03 of the1
1 – This is mere conjecture as there has been no one who could speak to this from their own personal knowledge of the turn of events.

Laws of Malawi).  As a way of reinforcing the principle that Press Trust was created for the benefit of the people of Malawi, the person holding the office of Minister of Finance in the Malawi Government was made an ex-officio trustee of Press Trust.  Therefore, the initial Trustees of Press Trust were Dr. Banda, the settlor, the then Minister of Finance, Mr. Chakakala Chaziya, Mr. Aaron Gadama, and Mr. John Ngwiri.  Under Clause III and Clause XI (4) of the Trust Deed, Dr. Banda, as settlor, “freely and voluntarily and in consideration of his love and affection for and dedication to the Malawi Nation and in furtherance of his desire to encourage, assist, promote and advance the well-being and welfare of the Malawi Nation, granted and conveyed unto the Trustees his shareholding in Press (Holdings) Limited.”

However, the shares were not transferred to the Trustees until 16th December 1993, after a period of over 10 years from the creation of the Trust.  Strangely, Dr Banda was paid the sum of K999,998.00 for the 499,999 shares he held in Press (Holdings) Limited.

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