Something fishy seems to be going on at Zimbabwe’s Cold Storage Company


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It was touted as a US$130 million joint venture in which a United Kingdom investor, Boustead Beef, was to revitalise the Cold Storage Company under Rehabilitate Operate and Transfer terms.

Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa in her cabinet briefing of 15 May said the agreement with Boustead Beef would do the following:

  • raise and invest a minimum of $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.

She said that benefits to accrue to Zimbabwe from the investment agreement included the following: 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.

Two months down the line workers at what used to be Africa’s largest meat processor outside South Africa now think the government might have been duped.

First they say that the man running the show, Nicholas Havercroft, was a Marondera tobacco farmer whose farm was compulsorily acquired during the land reform programme. One of his colleagues also had his farm acquired.

“He may be British but what I know is that he was a tobacco farmer from Marondera,” a worker, who preferred not to be named as he still liked to keep his job despite the low salary and the salary arrears dating back to 2012, said.

“He started Savanna Tobacco with Adam Molai, and that is the area he knows,” the worker said.

Havercroft was not reachable for comment and has not responded to an email sent to him nearly two weeks ago. Savanna is now known as Pacific Cigarette Company.

In his-linked in profile, Havercroft, says: “I am one of the world’s leading experts in tobacco from growing, buying, processing, blending, cut rag, cigarette manufacture, distribution and e-cigarettes.”

Continued next page

(305 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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