By ZBC Reporter
THE revival of the Cold Storage Commission (CSC), is taking longer than expected amid allegations of looting and vandalism of equipment by the new management.
The CSC was at one stage certified by the European Union to export meat, racking in huge sums in foreign currency for Zimbabwe.
Fast forward to 2021, the company’s premises points to a white elephant, amid allegations that it is being stripped by new management while one is left wondering what became of the agreement signed with Boustead Beef to revive the firm.
A visit to the institution revealed that since new management took over in 2019, there has not been any meaningful development, with Boustead Beef consultant, Mr Reginald Shoko blaming it on the ongoing court processes.
We are waiting for the courts to finish the process since the institution is run by cooperates. Right now, we are waiting for a consignment of equipment and then we can install compressors and have the institution ready for running. We will implement a new strategy that will be centered on farmers from the start-up to the end of the meat processing, he said.
The Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Raj Modi, who toured the facility this Monday bemoaned the slow progress in the revival of the company.
I came to visit CSC after receiving information that the new administration is stripping the machinery and selling it in South Africa. From what l have seen it seems like all is in place but what l can note is that the revival of CSC is key in boosting the country’s exports and help rack foreign currency for the country. If the company is up and running, that is good news for Bulawayo as this will create employment for the province, noted Modi.
Under the National Development Strategy One (NDS1), the government is targeting the resuscitation of the institution, which is the lifeblood for livestock farmers and the leather value chain.
Cold Storage Company is an agriculture processing state owned enterprise in Zimbabwe.
The company is in the business of cattle ranching and beef processing.
CSC was established in 1938 to serve the interests of small-scale cattle farmers and promote the country’s beef industry.
The company is currently struggling following a significant decline in the late 90s.
At its height, it was one of the country’s top companies, employing more than 4,700 people. In addition to beef, the company also produced for sale a large variety of by-products such as hides, neat’s foot oil, ox gall, edible offal’s, blood meal, meat and bone meal, tallow and dripping, canned meats, ham, and pork sausages among others.