GOVERNMENT has started scouting for investors to bail out the cash-strapped Cold Storage Company (CSC), Deputy Agriculture minister Paddington Zhanda told Parliament last week.
By Victoria Mtomba
Zhanda told the House of Assembly that discussions with some possible suitors had started to operationalise the defunct CSC depots in Masvingo, Kadoma, Marondera and Chinhoyi. Currently, the CSC only has one functional branch – Bulawayo.
“The Cold Storage Company was not given money for it to function properly. So, we are looking into the issue so that the Cold Storage Company gets some funding. We are even looking to outside donors who are interested so that it will start functioning,” he said.
Zhanda was responding to questions raised by members in the House of Assembly on what measures the ministry had introduced to curb vandalism taking place at CSC branches as some farmers who were owed money by the company had reportedly resorted to asset stripping to recover their money.
“What I can say about what is happening in Kadoma is that there is vandalism and stripping of property. Let me say that we have not been quiet on this issue. “Since I started in this ministry, I have had two meetings with the board of the Cold Storage Company, debating on what can be done to resuscitate the fortunes of the Cold Storage Company.
“Again this week, I am going to meet the board in Bulawayo so that we can look for ways and means of solving the Cold Storage Company problems,” he said.
The CSC is one of the parastatals earmarked for restructuring under the government restructuring programme.
The programme was however stalled midway due to government dred tape.