The troubled Cold Storage Company is coming back in full force so the government is working on rooting out all unscrupulous dealers in the meat industry, Justice Minister of Justice Ziyambi Ziyambi said in response to questions in the Senate.
He said the CSC was being bailed out by Boustead Beef.
Boustead Beef entered into an agreement with the government in 2019 but has up to now failed to revive the CSC.
The company was placed under corporate rescue in December 2020 but Boustead Beef has defied the rescuer and says it is resuming operations in August.
It has failed to meet two other dates it set this year.
Ziyambi, who seemed to be echoing the same sentiments as Lands and Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka said Boustead Beef was working on ensuring that the CSC goes back to its golden days.
A sub-committee appointed by Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Judith Ncube, said Boustead Beef was cannibalising parts from the CSC canning plant and claiming that these were new imported parts.
HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President. I wanted my question to go to the Minister of Agriculture. In his absence I refer it to the Leader of the House. My question is; our Cold Storage Commission depots (CSC) – are they going to function like they used to work in the past or that is the end of them?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President. I would like to thank Hon. Sen. Chirongoma for his question. CSC is coming back in full force. Government has since found a partner, through the Ministry of Agriculture. The company is called CSC Boustead. It is working on final preparations which will ensure that CSC goes back to its golden days. So as Government, we are working on rooting out all unscrupulous dealers who were in the agricultural sector, be it in production or market chain. There were people who were monopolising meat industry, so we want to rectify all that so that CSC functions properly. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: I would like to thank the Minister for the response. The President of this country, Hon. E. D. Mnangagwa repeatedly says the country will be built by its rightful owners. The Minister is talking about CSC but the infrastructure has been destroyed. There are some companies that are running their businesses there and there is a lot of vandalism. I went somewhere where even the fence was destroyed. Can Government not protect the infrastructure to ensure that it is well looked after? If Government has such plans to resuscitate it, it will be good to have the infrastructure well kept. I thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. President. I think that is what is now happening because the companies have started working. They are now looking at the CSC assets. So, I hope that in the shortest possible time, you will be seeing progress. I thank you.
HON. SEN. CHIEF MAKUMBE: Thank you Mr. President. My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Our jails are full and there are juvenile prisoners in these jails. What plans are there to get rid of some lighter issues, given the issue of diseases that are found in jails so that we may reduce the number of prisoners? Our jails are too full of prisoners and the space is very small. What plan do you have to decongest the prisons?