CSC investor wants ex-rescue practitioner caged over fraud

Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chiefs two weeks ago reportedly kicked off a crack investigation into fraud allegations against former CSC-Bousted Beef corporate rescue practitioner Vonani Majoko, in a new twist to the protracted battle.

The case has been in and out of the courts, but at the vortex of the fresh probe are claims that are contained in a report filed at Morris Depot in Harare that Majoko has refused to hand over crucial documents under his care, including books of accounts and keys, since his ouster in July this year.

As a result, he has allegedly been collecting rentals from the firm’s premises.

The statement recorded at the CID’s Commercial Crimes Department (CCD) said the extent of the prejudice would only be determined after an audit.

But sources close to the dispute alleged that the ex–corporate rescue practitioner could be collecting as much as US$100 000 per month from 60 CSC properties in Harare. This translates to about US$1,2 million annually.

Bus companies, haulage truck operators, retailers and warehouses are among scores of firms that have moved to lease space at CSC, a national pride during its heyday, which has been run down by unrestrained mismanagement.

Yesterday, Majoko said he was not at liberty to comment on the developments.

“According to our code of conduct, I am not allowed to comment on cases that are under investigation,” Majoko said.

The statement recorded on November 30 this year claimed that CSC-Boustead Beef became suspicious over illegal rental collections this year.

Boustead Beef, is currently undertaking the revival of the state-run CSC, which entered administration in 2020, after the government claimed that the Livestock Joint Farming Concession Agreement (LJFCA) it entered into with Boustead in 2019 was difficult to implement.

It is a joint venture between government and British investors.

“In 2022 the investor has reasonable grounds for suspicion that the accused persons were collecting rentals from tenants and converting it to their own use as opposed to the agreed standard where the money collected was supposed to be used to pay debts owed to creditors, rates and taxes owed local authorities,” the statement alleges.

“In the same year, Bousted Beef filed a High Court application number HCHC20/22, seeking for the removal of Vonani Majoko from the post of corporate rescue practitioner owing to non-performance.

“The matter was heard by Justice Manzunzu who ordered for the removal of Vonani Majoko from the post of corporate rescue practitioner and to surrender all books of accounts, rentals remitted to him, detailed account of all amounts remitted to him, keys to all company’s premises and any property belonging to the company to the deputy master of the High Court.

“At law, as a result of the above judgement the accused persons were supposed to hand over the control of the company’s property and operations to the master of the high court.

“However, the accused persons defied the order and continued with their operations to this date. The total value prejudiced is still to be advised as financial audit is still to be done,” the statement in the possession of the Zimbabwe Independent reads.

Sources, who spoke to the Independent this week said the deadlock had jeopardised a recent US$100 million partnership agreement that Boustead struck with United States-based Ethos Asset Management Inc. Of this amount US$20 million was due to come this month.

The arrangement would have seen the American firm providing capital to help the firm return to production.

“Management was expecting an injection from the deal signed recently but the investor is worried that CSC Boustead is not in control of properties and premises across Zimbabwe,” the sources said.

They said CSC Boustead Beef had only accessed CSC premises in Bulawayo.

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