Mugabe dairy firm sings the blues

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

ALPHA Omega Dairy, a company owned by former President Robert Mugabe is singing the blues with operations at below capacity and low uptake of its products in the market.

The former Zanu PF strongman was pushed out by the military and his party to resign from the presidency in 2017 after 37 years in power.

The company’s southern region sales executive Cassim Asani told NewsDay that the uptake of their products in supermarkets was very low.

“Business for the first quarter of this year was not as it was last year. On our side, we are pushing as a company because we want to be viable, we are producing the products but the rate of uptake in supermarkets is very low because the majority of the people do not have enough buying power,” Asani said.

“So from our market research and market intelligence, we have discovered that people want to buy products but they are not buying or buying limited quantities”.

Asani said schools which used to be their top customers for dairy products like yoghurt and ice creams had altered their diets because of the economic hardships.

During Mugabe’s time in power, the company was touted as a model of success of the land reform programme Zimbabwe embarked on at the turn of the millennium.

Asani said the company’s operations were being hindered by foreign currency shortages.

“…when we want to import ingredients and spare parts, forex is not yet readily available. So this is our biggest challenge and as a result, we are limited in our operations because of that. Sometimes, we end up having to raise prices to keep us viable like everybody else.”

“We hope authorities are working on that (availing forex) so that our economy returns to its green days. We haven’t laid down any staff. Our capacity utilisation is not bad. For now we are at 58%, we have not been running juices due to packaging material challenges but we have managed to secure something. We are now running juices and we expect our capacity utilisation to go up,” he said.

“We are a company that runs professionally and we are an equal opportunity competitor in the market. We face the same challenges like other companies face.”

Last May, State-owned media reported that the company was facing eviction from its rented Harare offices over $29 134,22 arrears.

5 Comments

  1. zimbabwe is ruled by fools worst fools in history zanupf is of educated fools

  2. Why cry about forex? What happened to the US$1M found in your boss’s rural home?

  3. DR StopiT (PhD-Fake)

    manga majaira kumanikidza ma government departments kuhodha zvima yogurt zvenyu ka. makaura

  4. Progressive Zimbabwean

    I do not think it is about disposable income but the goodwill. The Mugabe reputation in running Zimbabwe has had an impact on product uptake. I have observed in many supermarkets that despite the prices being the same people buy Dendairy, Kefalos and Diaribord products. The consuming publics have not forgotten who the author of their current problems is and they are just expressing their disgust at the manner in which Bob and company ran down this once beautiful country.

  5. Most pple have realised that, Alpha omega is Mugabe owned and its the same Mugabe and his Zanu pf who killed our economy thru chaotic land redistribution. Why not export your pdts to get forex? Your owner, used to tell the investors to stay away from Zim. He put the policies which scared away the investors and hence majority of pple are unemployed who would have been your customers.
    Answering the last paragraph, the company was evicted becoz the trucks that i used to see are no longer there.

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