By Owen Mandovha
THE illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and its Western allies triggered the collapse of several companies leading to the loss of thousands of jobs.
One such firm is Catercraft, which was ranked first in Africa in terms of providing flight catering services, but faced operational challenges due to the illegal embargo.
Catercraft was ranked the top in-flight catering company in Africa and the Middle East, while it was in the top 4 on the globe, but things took a turn for the worse at the turn of the millennium when Zimbabwe was placed under the yoke of sanctions.
Catercraft chairman, Kamal Khalfan says at least 15 airlines stopped flying to Zimbabwe, leading to the retrenchment of over 600 workers.
“Catercraft was the giant in terms of providing in-flight catering services, but it became incredibly difficult when the sanctions era visited us. At least 15 major airlines used to ply the Zimbabwean skies, but we retrenched over 600 workers because business went down dismally. Now I cannot imagine the veracity of the harm on the company as we are operating at probably a tenth of our original capacity in the 90s,” he noted.
Mr Khalfan added that other jobs were lost as companies on the downstream supply chain were also affected.
“Many companies became saddled with mounting debts as they lost business due to us losing key clients. For us, there were outstanding receipts for service provision which are still outstanding as we speak,” he said.
The illegal embargo imposed on the country inflicted huge damage on the economy of Zimbabwe.
However, the government has come up with programmes to cushion the economy from the ravages of the sanctions to attain an upper middle-income society by 2030.