Business booming for Turnall


Where in the world would a company, which technically has no owner, make a hefty 1 377 percent increase in net profit in six months and still hope to do better than that?

Only in Zimbabwe, a land full of contradictions where the economy is reportedly on the brink of collapse but some companies are doing booming business.

Turnall Holdings, which manufactures asbestos cement products such as asbestos roofing sheets and pipes, made a net profit of Z$44.1 billion in the six months to June compared to only Z$3 billion during the same period last year.

Even in inflation adjusted terms, its profit increased by 106 percent to $1.9 billion.

According to its results released today, Turnall’s sales soared from $23.1 billion to $168.5 billion.

The company currently has no direct owner as it was part of fugitive businessman Mutumwa Mawere’s empire and is therefore a state specified company falling under the Reconstruction of State Indebted Insolvent Companies Act.

Mawere, who is now living in South Africa, skipped the country last year following allegations that he had externalised $300 billion. He denied the charges claiming that the government was after him because he had refused to become ZANU-PF provincial chairman for Masvingo claiming that he was not even a member of the ruling party.

Mawere owned a vast empire which included the Shabani and Mashaba Mines (SMM), the country’s largest asbestos mining company, as well as insurance, agricultural and financial holding companies.

The empire whose assets run into billions was placed under a government-appointed administrator Afaras Gwarazimba last year.

Turnall says it expects to do better during the second half because traditionally it contributes 60 percent of the company’s business.

The company is expected to do exceptionally well because of the government sponsored housing construction programme, Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle, as it will be the major supplier of roofing material.

It also says it will benefit from the Parastatals and Local Authorities Reorientation Programme as well as the national housing scheme which has been allocated nearly $2 trillion by the central bank.



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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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