The Sunday News
Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
ONE of the country’s longest serving bosses, at a State Enterprise and Parastatal, Cold Storage Company (CSC), chief executive officer Mr Ngoni Chinogaramombe will soon leave his post after having served the entity for a period of over a decade-and-a-half.
Mr Chinogaramombe has served the country’s internationally recognised sole meat processor and marketer for almost 34 years having joined it in 1984 and rose through the ranks to become its chief executive officer in 2005. A reliable source privy to the on-goings at CSC said Mr Chinogaramombe was offered a handsome severance package by the company’s newly found strategic investor, Boustead Beef Zimbabwe, which is expected to inject a massive US$400 million over the next five years towards breathing new life into the entity.
“Mr Chinogaramombe hasn’t resigned per se but the investors highlighted that they were bringing in their own chief executive officer and financial director, rightfully so because they want to ensure direct control of the investment. He has been mutually offered a handsome exit package by the investors, including taking care of his various needs at the moment. The investors said they will continue consulting him on various issues,” said the source.
CSC, at one time the largest meat processor in Africa, handled up to 150 000 tonnes of beef and associated by-products a year and exported beef to the European Union. However, during Mr Chinogaramombe’s reign the company’s fortunes were on a downward spiral.
The company has fallen on hard times since 2000 owing to a myriad of challenges, that include difficulties in raising adequate working capital, cattle disease outbreaks, decline in the commercial herd, huge foreign debt, high staff turnover and an aged transport fleet. CSC last exported beef in 2007 because of serious outbreaks of foot and mouth diseases. The European Union (EU) stopped importing beef from the country due to illegal sanctions imposed on the country.
Mr Chinogaramombe’s exit comes after the crafting of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act last year, which stipulates that chief executive officers of State Enterprises and Parastatals to serve for a maximum of 10 years. According to the Public Entities Corporate Governance policy, the chief executives who are already serving will complete their 10-year terms.
Mr Chinogaramombe could not be reached for comment. CSC director of marketing Mr Isaiah Machingura declined to comment while Boustead Beef managing director Mr Nick Havercroft could not be reached for a comment by the time of going to Press.
The CSC board is chaired by Mrs Sylvia Khumalo-Jiyane and she is deputised by Mr Nemrod Chiminya who is a seasoned technical person and also assists on the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board.
The other board members are Mrs Emily Mumbengegwi, Mr Peter Nyoni, Mrs Cecilia Paradza, Mr Bekhithemba Nkomo, Dr Anxious Masuka, Mrs Rufaro Mazunze, Mr Khodholo Setaboli, Ministry of Agriculture representatives, Dr Unesu Ushewokunze Obatolu and Engineer Reston Muzamhindo.