Though Nick Havercorft has run other businesses mainly in farming and the tobacco industry, he has no record in the beef industry.
In his statement released on the Ethos website, Havercroft said: “Boustead Beef is exceptionally pleased to receive the financial backing of Ethos Asset Management in support of Boustead’s mission to privatize, refurbish and restart a critical component of Zimbabwe’s infrastructure – its national beef industry…….”
While Havercroft said Boustead Beef’s mission was to privatise, refurbish and restart the CSC, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa in her cabinet briefing of 15 May 2019 said the agreement with Boustead Beef would do the following:
- raise and invest a minimum of US$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.
It is not clear whether terms of the agreement have changed. What is clear, however, is that the government is not happy with Boustead Beef and is seeking alternative or complementary investment in the CSC.
In a letter to an Australian company, Snowy Mountains, dated 16 September 2022, Obert Jiri, the chief director, Agriculture and Rural Development Advisory Services in the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture, said that one of the major cattle projects that were open to investors was “partnering with Boustead Beef CSC Company is revamping all the CSC infrastructure (abattoirs, ranches, canning factory, feedlots, sale pens)”.
Boustead Beef is currently facing at least three lawsuits.
- The unprocedural removal of the corporate rescuer
- The illegal retrenchment of CSC workers whose illegality was confirmed by the Retrenchment Board
- The legality and validity of the agreement between the government and Boustead Beef