Boustead Beef can no longer decide the revival plan for the Cold Storage Company alone as the company is now under corporate rescue so the future has to be decided by all stakeholders.
This was said by the interim corporate rescue practitioner Vonani Majoko who said he still had to get the order confirming his appointment.
The CSC was placed under a corporate rescue plan by the High Court following an application by Lands and Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka in December last year after Boustead Beef which entered into a 25-year agreement with the government in January 2019 to revive the CSC failed to fulfill terms of the agreement which included investing US$45 million in the first year.
Ngoni Kudenga of BDO Zimbabwe was appointed the corporate rescue practitioner (CRP) but he was disqualified at the first creditors meeting on 13 March with Majoko being appointed in his place.
Under the rescue plan, the CRP was supposed to:
- to investigate the company’s affairs, business and property and financial situation in terms of Section 134 of the Insolvency Act;
- investigate previous CSC operations and expose the weaknesses within the systems and recommend possible solutions;
- investigate adherence to corporate governance principles and recommend aspects that require strengthening;
- confirm the number and status of the properties and ascertain the status of all CSC assets;
- investigate claims of asset stripping or any other activities and institute measures to stop the asset stripping immediately;
- examine the Scheme of Arrangement and recommend appropriate measures;
- investigate the employment and dismissal of employees from the date the Joint Venture was signed;
- examine and recommend Pension benefits due to the employees;
- examine Boustead Beef (Pvt) Ltd’s current operations (investments made and operational initiatives implemented since the signing of the agreement) and establish whether or not it has capacity to revive CSC and advance the Livestock Growth Plan.
Things had been quiet at the CSC since the creditors’ meeting in March but interest was revived on Monday following a visit to the Bulawayo plant by Deputy Industry Minister Raj Modi who is also the Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South under which the CSC falls.
Modi said he visited the plant to see things for himself following reports that the Boustead Beef management was looting and vandalising the company’s equipment.
He said he had been assured that there was nothing of the sort.
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