Boustead Beef showboating on CSC rescue for media


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“They are replacing some of the old parts for the equipment with new ones so they have to strip the old compressor and things like that to make it right.  They bought new parts to replace the old ones that’s why they were stripping.  They promised me that they are going to be finished within three weeks’ time. Some more parts are coming. As soon as all the parts come then they are going to finish it in three to four weeks’ time,” Modi told The Insider.

Asked why Boustead Beef was working when the company was under corporate rescue, Modi surprisingly said he did not know about that.

“I don’t know much about that part.  What I know is that there is an investor that was working on this to restart the whole thing. They are working on it they have told me that they have ordered some parts which are coming from Sweden. They are waiting for the parts and once the parts come they are going to finish the compressors which were stripped and they are going to put them back and it is going to start working. They have replaced the cabling part and once the compressors are ready they can connect.”

CSC workers said they were surprised by Modi’s visit, especially with the media, because he was duped by the Boustead Beef management as it has been making promises to revive the plant since 2019 but has failed to do so.

“It is a pity that Modi is coming in just now because if he had been to the plant before Boustead Beef came in and visited it now, he would have fainted. The minister is not sincere. The plant has been vandalized. Everything was working before Boustead Beef came onto the scene. The compressors were stripped and Boustead Beef was simply bringing them back,” one worker said.

Asked what was happening and whether Boustead Beef should continue with reviving the CSC, Majoko said since the CSC was under a corporate rescue plan, Boustead Beef could no longer go it alone.

“I have to consult with creditors, with all stakeholders, including them, whether their plan is the one that has to be adopted because a plan has to be adopted by the creditors,” Majoko said, adding that he informed Boustead Beef about this.

Asked why Boustead was telling the minister that it would get operations running in three to four weeks or in two months when they had been at the CSC since January 2019, Majoko said this was not the first time Boustead had promised to start operations but had failed.

“It’s showboating really. It’s for media consumption,” he said.

Although Boustead Beef signed an agreement with the government to invest US$130 million into the CSC, it filed papers with the Master of the High Court as a creditor and is claiming $3.5 billion, making it the biggest creditor.

Asked whether Boustead Beef was an investor or creditor, Majoko said he understood where they were coming from.

He said this was more to protect themselves if the rescue plan left the out because it was the creditors who decided who should take the company forward.

“I can understand why they would have filed as a creditor. If you go to section 129 (of the Insolvency Act) it is not certain that they are going to be approved by the majority of creditors as an investor. Suppose for some reason the creditors prefer somebody else, it puts Boustead in the position of being a creditor.

“They are protecting themselves. In a way, one would say that they are showing an awareness that they are not guaranteed that in the rescue proceedings they will continue having that status of investor.”

(258 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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