Zimbabwe Lands and Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka could be misleading President Emmerson Mnangagwa about the revival of the Cold Storage Company, as it is once again now clear that Boustead Beef has no capacity to resuscitate the country’s largest meat processor.
Workers blame Masuka for the company’s debacle because they say that as a former board member he knew from the beginning that the agreement that the government entered into with Boustead Beef was flawed.
Masuka was appointed Lands and Agriculture Minister in August 2020 following the death of Perrence Shiri, and gave frustrated CSC workers hope when he applied to the High Court in December the same year to have the CSC placed under corporate rescue because Boustead Beef had failed to fulfil terms of the agreement it entered into with the government in January 2019.
He, however, seemed to have backed down when his appointee as corporate rescuer Ngoni Kudenga was disqualified and did not back Bulawayo lawyer Vonani Majoko who was appointed by the creditors instead.
Masuka allowed Boustead Beef to continue operations, frustrating Majoko, resulting in the company claiming that it had resuscitated the company and invited Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga to officially commission the “refurbished” factory in August this year.
The company, however, is still not on its feet. Boustead Beef announced this month that it had struck a partnership agreement with United States-based Ethos Asset Management Inc to provide capital infusion for the refurbishment and restart of the beef company.
According to the Independent newspaper, Havercroft said: “Boustead Beef is exceptionally pleased to receive the financial backing of Ethos Asset Management in support of Boustead’s mission to privatise, refurbish and restart a critical component of Zimbabwe’s infrastructure – its national beef industry. Boustead is fortunate to have a partner like Ethos, a financial powerhouse in both public markets and project finance.”
The Independent said that CSC Boustead Beef, which is the new company under the joint venture agreement, was advised by Worldwide Wealth Advisors and Nyansapo Impact Capital.
Ironically, the very day that the story appeared in the Independent, 4 November, Majoko was summoned to Kwekwe by Local Government Minister July Moyo to craft a document on the way forward for the CSC.
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