ZANU-PF – a bad debtor?


The ruling ZANU-PF is proving to be a major headache to its creditors. Despite the fact that it owns several commercial companies that are highly profitable, the ruling party does not pay debts.

Telephone services at its $17 million headquarters have been cut because the party owes the Posts and telecommunications Corporations $270 000. The party last paid its telephone bill last August.

Secretary for Administration, Didymus Mutasa, who most people are beginning not to take too seriously, claims it was the party that asked that the telephone lines be cut because they were being abused.

The party headquarters has also been attached because the ruling party owes a Bulawayo company, Ashoka Trust Holdings, $18 000 in rent arrears. The party occupied offices owned by the company in Bulawayo without paying a cent for more than a year.

It also owes the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company $1.3 million together with the government. Some of the debt was incurred as far back as 1988 according to party chairman, Joseph Msika, who as Minister of Local government, Rural and Urban Development is also responsible for urban transport.

The government is a majority shareholder in the bus company which has the sole right to operate in the country’s urban areas.

ZANU-PF through its holding company, ZIDCO Holdings, which says it employees about 10 000 people and has an annual turnover of $350 million jointly owns the country’s biggest blanket manufacturer, National Blankets, with the multi-national Lonrho on a 50-50 basis.

It has a 44.65 percent stake in Treger Industries, a manufacturer of stoves, steel door frames, wheelbarrows, travel goods, hardware, appliances, and grain bags.

It also owns an auto engineering company, Mike Apple, which has 30 subsidiaries, Jongwe Printing and Publishing, a commercial printer which at one time took over the printing of Hansard after the government printers failed to cope, half of Woolworth’s Trading and F.W Woolworth supermarkets; half of Catercraft which has the monopoly of supplying food to the airline industry; and at least 50 houses, buildings and farms.

Last year, most hotels were demanding that ruling party pay its bills in cash because they were not paying their debts. It is amazing how a party which has so vast business concerns can sacrifice to have its property worth millions attached for a mere $18 000 unless of course that is done under the arrogant excuse that they are above the law and creditors are just wasting their time by taking them to court.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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