He said what was more disturbing was that Dube had given the impression that workers did not want Kudenga to be the corporate rescuer when they had written to the Minister of Land and Agriculture, two weeks prior to the creditor’s meeting, dissociating themselves from UFAWUZ and the legal action against Kudenga.
According to the letter dated 17 March, Rinashe wrote: “On behalf of Cold Storage Company workers, we state that we are not part of, and distance and dissociate ourselves fully from, any alleged representation by Allied Food Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (AFWUZ) and its purported case filed with the High Court in Bulawayo (Case No. HC 177/20) challenging the appointment of Mr Ngoni Kudenga of BDO Kudenga Chartered Accountants as the Corporate Rescue Practitioner. The alleged application by AFWUZ also raises objections to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Dr Masuka’s role in reviving CSC.
“This alleged court application through AFWUZ by individuals unknown to us…… puts all workers in bad light and causes unnecessary damage to our standing before the shareholder of our employer – the Government of Zimbabwe. We would urge the authorities to investigate this to establish who is sponsoring this self-serving and ill-advised application. For the record, CSC workers are not and have never been members of AFWUZ except for individual workers who chose personal consultation and representation with them when specific issues arose.
“We wish to state that, from the onset, we as workers declared our open support for the Government when it appointed the ‘investor’, Boustead Beef, from January 2019. Consequently, we support any initiative by government meant to revive CSC and the national herd for the good of our livelihoods and as a nation.
“We therefore do not see any benefit derived from involving ourselves in shareholder issues or fighting the shareholder when the Corporate Rescue plan is meant to mitigate our plight together with other stakeholders to whom CSC is indebted. What we are hoping for, on the contrary, is that the Corporate Rescue Practitioner speeds up the process so that we go back to work since we are all on forced leave since September 2019.
“For now, we reiterate that we do not know the so-called workers who filed the Union petition nor their motive. The general view of the bona-fide workforce is strongly against such a move…….
“To CSC workers, the appointment of the Mr Ngoni Kudenga or any other appropriate person for the role, was a welcome and long overdue development after a disastrous stint with an ‘investor’ who showed no employee welfare at heart. The failed investor’s spell was characterized by aborted malicious mass firing and a chaotic and controversial retrenchment exercise far detached from the workers’ interests.”
Continued next page