Boustead Beef CSC cattle auction off


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The auction of more than 200 Cold Storage Commission cattle that was supposed to be effected this morning has been postponed to Wednesday but The Insider understands that it might be cancelled completely.

The sale which included 95 heifers,  24 cows with 24 calves, 21 cows,33 steers and 5 bulls had been organised by Boustead Beef, a company that entered into an agreement with the government last year to takeover CSC operations and invest US$130 million over five years.

The company, which was said to be a British company but is run by a former Marondera tobacco  farmer, Nick Havercroft, has so far failed to meet its obligations and the government says it is reviewing the agreement.

A notice posted by the auctioneers last night just stated: “Our sincerest apologies but due to circumstances beyond our control , tomorrow’s  Bousted Beef sale has been postponed for 48 hours to Wednesday .

“Therefore the Bousted Beef sale and the normal Wednesday Umguza sale will (be) combined and will be take place this Wednesday 14th Oct at 11.15 am. Again our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.”

Insiders said there would be fireworks today as regards the sale of the cattle as there is growing concern that Boustead Beef may be stripping off CSC assets because it does not have money to pay off workers that it says it is retrenching on behalf of the government.

Boustead Beef is supposed to retrench 140 workers so that it can start on a clean slate but it is increasingly becoming apparent that the company has no money.

A former management employee with the CSC said that in his opinion Havercroft had convinced some investors to come into the CSC when he signed the agreement with the government but for some reason they had pulled out leaving him stranded.

An investigation into Havercroft’s operations carried out by The Insider with the help of the Investigative Dashboard last year showed that Havercroft was more of a speculator than an investor. He had fingers in too many companies whose operations were not clear.

Sources say, the government is now seriously thinking of reconstructing the CSC by appointing an administrator to run the company.

Boustead Beef will remain a shareholder but will have to prove that it has the funds to invest into the operation.

Here is what Lands and Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka told Parliament about the Boustead Beef  agreement.

(42 VIEWS)

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The Insider

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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