Gulliver demands $463k from former directors

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Gulliver Consolidated Private Limited had its first liquidation meeting on Wednesday and is planning to demand $463 000 from former directors who allegedly defrauded the steel manufacturing company.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Speaking before creditors, Gulliver Consolidated provisional liquidator Reggie Saruchera said he sought to find out whether the directors were working in cahoots or it was one director involved.

“We need to carry out thorough investigations. The High Court received an application filed on the same matter,” Saruchera said.
“We will not comment much on that matter but will pursue those allegations so that the money is recovered.”

Gulliver, facing liquidity constraints, unsustainable high costs of borrowing and high administrative costs, was placed under final judicial management in 2013.

Major creditors include Interfin Bank which is owed $2,3 million, ZB Bank $1,4 million, and Agribank $321 692. Statutory bodies are owed US$1,1 million and employees $842 000.

Saruchera said creditors would be paid back starting from those owed the most money.

Gulliver has a net liability position of $1,88 million which are a company’s debts after its current assets that will be used or sold within 12 months after it has been subtracted from its current liabilities. The debts must be paid within 12 months.

Gulliver Consolidated voted to dispose of its assets worth $5, 3 million after the company failed to attract new investment.

Earlier this year, in an attempt to deal with its mounting financial woes, Gulliver sought to cut its monthly salary bill from $200 000 to $20 000.

“We have not been having huge contracts because there is no much infrastructural work to do in the country,” Saruchera said.
The steel manufacturing firm is part of the country’s industrial sector currently utilizing just over 30% of its capacity, down from above 70% in 1994 and a post-hyperinflation spike of 57% in 2011.

Saruchera said Gulliver was looking towards two potential major contracts from the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and Zimbabwe National Water Authority.

“Gulliver can turn around if we secure a huge fabrication contract. We were hoping for a contract from NRZ worth between $10 and $50 million but it has not yet come through,” Saruchera said.

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