Boustead Beef was supposed to invest US$45 million in the first year of its operations.
It was supposed to:
- Refurbishing of abattoirs, canning factory, distribution US$6 million.
- Working capital abattoirs, canning factory, distribution US$5 million.
- Logistic fleet, vehicles, distribution- abattoirs US$2 million.
- IT systems/meat matex/stock control/etc US$3 million.
- External cattle purchase facility US$5 million.
- External buy back facility for processed beef US$5 million.
- Capital expenditure ranches and feedlots US$4.5 million.
- Working capital ranches and feedlots US$3 million
- Logistics fleet ranches, vehicles US$1.5 million
- Cattle purchase US$10 million
Nothing of the sort happened. Instead Boustead Beef shut down the factory in September 2019 claiming it was refurbishing the plant over the next four months but it never resumed operations forcing the government to put the company under corporate rescue in December 2020.
But Boustead Beef did not allow the rescue plan to be implemented. While it was supposed to be the government partner, it filed papers as a creditor, claiming some $3.5 billion.
The first corporate rescuer Ngoni Kudenga was disqualified after Boustead Beef and other creditors said there was a conflict of interest because Kudenga and Masuka sat on the boards of Hippo Valley and Mutilikwi Boards which were both subsidiaries of Tongaat Hulett.
Vonani Majoko who took over was sidelined and Boustead Beef continued operations claiming that it had refurbished the plant with Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga being asked to officially open the plant last month.
Chiwenga said the CSC would not be allowed to close again but it actually never resumed operations except on the day that he officially re-opened it and slaughtered 14 cattle.
Boustead Beef consultant Reginald Shoko admitted that the plant was not operating but said it was retraining workers and full operations would resume in four to six weeks.
It was not clear why this was not done before the Vice-President was asked to officially re-open it.
A source said the government was now so embarrassed that it is investigating the circumstances that led to the reopening of the plant.