Zimbabwe’s Minister of Agriculture Anxious Masuka, has asked Ngoni Kudenga, of BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants, who was appointed the corporate rescue practitioner for the Cold Storage Company in December, to examine Boustead Beef’s current operations and establish whether or not it has capacity to revive CSC and advance the Livestock Growth Plan.
In a statement issued on 18 December but published in the Sunday Mail yesterday, Masuka said Kudenga should examine investments made by Boustead Beef since it entered into a joint venture agreement with the government on 22 January 2019 and operational initiatives it implemented since the signing of the agreement.
Boustead Beef, which was touted as a British investor ready to pour in US$130 million into the ailing beef parastatal, failed to implement the agreement leading the government to seek judicial management of the company to save it from collapse.
Under the joint venture agreement signed in 2019, Boustead Beef was supposed to:
- 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 was also supposed to:
- increased capacity utilisation at CSC ranches and abattoir plants;
- increased prospects for restoration of the enterprise’s viability and higher throughput;
- stemming of further deterioration of equipment which is currently lying idle, and the growth of the local livestock and beef industry.
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