CSC must be revived as a matter of national priority

03 Apr, 2016 - 00:04 0 Views
CSC must be revived as a matter of national priority

cold storage

Farming Issues with Mhlupheki Dube

ACTING President Phelekezela Mphoko and Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister responsible for livestock Paddy Zhanda visited industries in Bulawayo including the Cold Storage Company (CSC) last week.

During the tour, Deputy Minister Zhanda made a passionate plea for Government to support the revival of CSC.
A telling revelation was made during the plea that a proposed turnaround strategy which was submitted to Government in 2014 is yet to be approved.

Honestly this ignites questions which need honest answers. Is it the Government process which is slow or some over-paid and underutilised person is just sitting on the documents?

Do we all understand the strategic nature of CSC as a parastatal in driving the economy in general and beef industry in particular?

Do we all understand the positive effect the revival of CSC will have?

Talk of veterinary drugs and inputs industry, stockfeed manufacturers, canning and processing industry just to mention a few.

These will spring into life the moment CSC is resurrected. However, resurrecting CSC needs people to ask themselves hard questions and be prepared to deal with hard answers. One such question is what really is the problem with CSC?

While Deputy Minister Zhanda spoke of the need for capital injection and ring fencing the debt that is currently haunting the terminally ill parastatal, am really not sold to the idea that money alone is the problem at CSC.

I know it is almost every human being’s default settings to think of money as the panacea for all problems but we all know that a company usually has two kinds of resources vital for its operations. These are the human resources and the financial resources which includes assets.

It has been recorded that we do not have the financial resources at CSC at the moment but do we have the human resources to run this company?

Is the team running CSC, the best this country can produce? What is the turnaround strategy saying? Does it look at the root causes of the failure of CSC? Are we addressing those issues or we just massage them with the hope that they will go away?

I know these questions can be very uncomfortable to others and might even invite a backlash but it is when we begin to talk to real issues that we begin to find solutions.

It does not help the nation to pour in money into a company which is intrinsically defective and hope money will solve everything.

We will see them coming back with an even bigger begging bowl just after two years. I therefore implore powers that be to adopt a very robust and water tight strategy with CSC. If it means overhauling even the entire human resource so that we achieve success so be it.

In fact am yet to see a turnaround strategy that hasn’t shaken management but produced results. The simple logic is, if the human resource we have is good enough how then did they preside over the decomposition of once a vibrant company.

The economy was bad yes, but these other companies we see today went through the same hyper inflationary environment. So do not cite that reason to me because it simply is not adequate.

Zimbabwe is an agro-based economy and its primary knowledge that agriculture is broadly divided into crop and livestock production. On that score it is an uncontested fact that CSC is a vital component of livestock production and by derivation of the economy of the country and its revitalisation needs all the seriousness it can get. We therefore ask Government to take the bull by its horns and face all the demons of CSC if anything for the good of the country.

I am sure it will be rewarding and nice for him to be remembered as the man who exorcised the demons of CSC even when he is no longer in Government. CSC simply has to be declared a national disaster and be given all the attention and state assistance that is accorded national disaster areas.

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