The government had secured a United Kingdom investor who was prepared to pour in US$130 million into the ailing parastatal once said to be one of the biggest meat processors in Africa.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said under the agreement, Boustead Beef Zimbabwe would:
- raise and invest a minimum of $130 million into CSC over five years, being for both capital expenditures and working capital for the business;
- pay off CSC financial debts totalling US$42 530 597;
- pay rentals of US$100 000 per annum during the first five years of the concession agreement;
- take over and run the management of the following CSC ranches for an initial period of 25 years: Maphaneni; Dubane; Umguza; Chivumbuni; Mushandike; Willsgrove; and Darwendale;
- take over and run the management of the following abattoirs for an initial period of 25 years: Bulawayo; Chinhoyi; Masvingo; Marondera; and Kadoma; and
- take over and manage for an initial period of 25 years, the Harare, Gweru and Mutare distribution centres and residential properties of CSC.
Nothing of the sort has happened. First the investor is not from the UK but is a former Zimbabwean tobacco farmer.
Instead of paying rent the investor has been collecting rent from CSC properties and paying workers paltry wages. Workers have been crying in the wilderness since the takeover because the new investor has not been listening to them.
Sweepers, for example, were being paid a paltry $170 a month, and managers $800-$1000.
To make matters worse, instead of resuming full operations in September, as workers had been promised since the takeover, the new investor said he was closing down operations for four months.
It is not clear who has been protecting Boustead Beef Zimbabwe but President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his entire cabinet should be taken to task over the deal.
According to workers, the new management could be stripping the company of its assets.
Since no one in government seems to be care, maybe the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission should step in as the CSC has a lot of assets which no one should be allowed to gamble with.