Were Mnangagwa and Mthuli Ncube taken for a ride by Boustead Beef?


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Zimbabwe Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube is usually optimistic about Zimbabwe’s future.  He has every reason to be, because there would be no point in being minister of that powerful portfolio if he did not believe he could turn around the country’s fortunes.

Ncube was over the top when the government announced the joint venture with a United Kingdom company Boustead Beef to take over the Cold Storage Company on 14 May last year.  Now things seem to be falling apart.

In a media briefing shortly after the cabinet meeting, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said cabinet had been briefed by Mthuli Ncube that the CSC was to be revitalised through a Concession Agreement under Rehabilitate, Operate and Transfer terms.

Under the agreement, Boustead Beef would do the following;

  • 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.

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

  1. increased capacity utilisation at CSC ranches and abattoir plants;
  2. increased prospects for restoration of the enterprise’s viability and higher throughput;
  3. 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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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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