The year 2012, which comes to the end today, was marked by a harsh business environment on both the economic and political front, making it a very difficult year for business.
As a media house, which produces newspapers on daily basis, we felt the impact of the acute shortage of forex and fuel. This is so because we import a lot of raw materials ranging from newsprint to inks and plates, hence forex scarcity created challenges for us.
Like many players in the private sector, we felt the pinch of the harsh business environment. It was a miracle that we were able to produce papers on daily basis considering the challenges of importing raw materials in the wake of forex shortages and distributing newspapers, when fuel was not available in the first half of 2012.
While the situation improved in the second half of the year with availability of some forex and fuel; the economic comedy that ensued characterised by high levels of uncertainty in the economic architecture continued to affect us.
The liberalised foreign exchange regime and the removal of price controls on fuel and utilities with the accompanying skyrocketing inflation are factors that have made planning and pricing extremely difficult.
We realise that the economic reforms being undertaken to stabilise the economy are painful and have affected not only affected us but also you our esteemed readers and valued advertisers. We would like to express our profound appreciation to you for your support despite facing the current macro and micro-economic challenges.
It is your support that gave us courage and zeal to report, analyse and comment on issues without fear or favour during the year. Even when the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika tested the strength of Malawi's democracy, especially when confusion broke out on succession, with your support we took a position to defend constitutionalism and democracy.
We are excited that at the end of the day the spirit of constitutionalism prevailed.
All over the world democracy depends on citizens having reliable, accurate facts put in a meaningful context. We promise to maintain allegiance to citizens and the larger public interest above any other in our work. We will strive at all times to provide you with accurate information.
Once again, we thank you dear readers and advertisers for your support and encouragement in 2012 and look forward to serving you better in 2013. We wish all of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year.