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EDITOR’S BRIEF 22 SEPT 2022: Havercroft deceived Chiwenga & Govt but the CSC-Boustead deal is already dead

Even ardent Zanu PF supporters would have struggled to suppress a chuckle as they read ZimLive’s exclusive report detailing how Cold Storage Company investor and Boustead Beef boss, the former Marondera farmer Nick Havercroft, managed to deceive an entire government, including its evidently slumbering intelligence services.

As vice president Constantino Chiwenga gave elated remarks, at what was meant to be the official reopening of the CSC Bulawayo processing plant, one of Havercroft’s trusted hands was on the roof above, carefully pouring in a stream of water to give the impression of an industrial condenser in action.

There is an element of contempt in Havercroft’s crude tactics, which suggest a low regard for his victims. Having told outrageous and contradictory lies but somehow gone unchallenged, Havercroft grew in confidence.

Diligent as he is, the cheap cleverness of his deceptions would not have survived even a superficial investigation. Havercroft prevailed, not on account of a brilliant criminal imagination, merely the dereliction of duty at several levels of government.

This multi-level failure includes economic intelligence operatives at Mhlahlandlela in Bulawayo. Despite receiving a tip-off, they took no action. The failure to act on information is particularly egregious for those who boast intelligence titles.

Given the colourful reports carried by state media on the supposed progress Boustead Beef was making, one can see why the spooks may have relaxed. Surely editors would not publish falsehoods, claiming non-existent refurbishments?

In June of 2019, the Business Chronicle reported observing “a lot of infrastructure rehabilitation was being undertaken”.

Thankfully, not everyone was asleep.

Facing growing pressure to deliver, Havercroft found an opportunity to buy precious time. A CSC tenant had millions of dollars worth of solar panels stored in defunct cold rooms that they were leasing. Havercroft saw an opening and pounced.

Claiming the panels belonged to ‘Boustead Solar’, destined for a 23 megawatt solar power plant, Havercroft again won the generosity of gullible newspaper editors.

“CSC in massive solar project”, a senior business staffer at the state-owned Sunday News reported with the inspiring headline.

Continuing: “Work on the solar project started two weeks ago at the company’s headquarters in Bulawayo where a three megawatt plant is being set up at a cost of about US$9 million”.

Two years later, the state-owned Chronicle reported that the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) had “received an application from Boustead Solar to construct a 23.5MW solar power plant in Bulawayo’s Belmont industrial site”.

Havercroft’s luck was about to run out.

Zera’s CEO Edington Mazambani had apparently caught wind that the panels did not belong to Boustead. Ever diplomatic, Mazambani said he was prepared to grant the licence if Havercroft submitted importation documentation for the panels.

“Why does he want to see the invoice … for my CSC equipment? It has nothing to do with ZERA, what I am spending here, it’s confidential,” Havercroft said, feigning anger as he sought to control the media narrative.

In reality, Havercroft knew it was game over.

Twenty lorries had arrived at the CSC plant to collect the panels, much to the shock of security. Havercroft’s remaining card was to accuse Zera of throwing spanners in the works.

While the requirement for a permit to generate power is bureaucratic overreach – connecting to the grid should be the only target of regulations – Zera’s CEO demonstrated the power of diligence.

Indeed, the Agriculture ministry could have ended this charade three years ago if it had been equally diligent.

Clause 4 of the Livestock Joint Farming Concession Agreement ceding control of CSC assets to Boustead Beef stipulates “conditions precedent” without which the agreement is voided.

These deliverables included proof of US$130 million in funding within four months of signing. No such funding was demonstrated. Why are lawyers at the Agriculture ministry not raising this material violation? There is a thin line between corruption and gross incompetence.

When Havercroft failed to present proof of funding, that constituted a material breach and the agreement should have been, and was effectively, terminated. The question is why the Agriculture ministry is unwilling to exercise its rights?

Beyond that clause, US$45 million in Year One capital expenditure and working capital was stipulated, including US$15 million in cattle purchases. Three years later, where are the cattle? Boustead Beef has failed even the Year One US$2 million in vehicle purchases for the CSC fleet.

These are facts the Agriculture ministry cannot possibly be unaware of.


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President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa will tomorrow , Wednesday, 22 March 2023, deliver the keynote address at the first day of the three-day National Conference on the Constitution which is titled Reflections And The Road Ahead.

The event will take place at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng, under the theme “Reflections on the Constitution: Rule of law, accountability, social and economic justice”.

The conference gives the nation an opportunity to reflect and engage in dialogue on the past 25 years of the Constitution, nation building, gender equality, youth economic empowerment, service delivery and social stability, with the objective of charting a way forward that builds on the gains of democracy.

As a platform for deliberating on continuous, robust debate on the purpose and effectiveness of the Constitution, the National Conference on the Constitution intends to broaden the discourse on the Constitution and encourage members of the public to participate in the conversation on constitutionalism and the state of democracy in the country.

Some of the focus areas in the programme include:

• Transforming and building an independent and resilient judiciary;
• Transforming and growing the economy as a constitutional imperative;
• Progress on land reform: restitution and distribution;
• Governance and electoral reform;
• Effectiveness of constitutional and independent statutory bodies in strengthening
constitutional democracy.

The conference will be attended by prominent figures of South African society including academics, members of legislatures, constitutional and independent statutory bodies, mayors, political parties, youth, students, business leaders, religious leaders, representatives of the legal fraternity, traditional leaders, media and others.

The conference will be held as follows:

Date : 22-24 March 2023
Time : 08h30
Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Gauteng

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Here are the facts:

THE COCA COLA COMPANY (TCCC) acquired THE ENTIRE ISSUED SHARE CAPITAL OF CADBURY SCHWEPPES PLC resulting in the control and management of the global Schweppes businesses into TCCC value chains including Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited (SZL), a company incorporated in terms of the laws of Zimbabwe.

Mr. Brian Musekiwa, a Zimbabwean-born professional based in Texas, USA, said: “I had no idea of the SZL matter and its intersection with the SMM Holdings Private Limited (SMM) affair until I joined the Justice Under Rule of Law’s (JUROL) corporate heritage and legal literacy campaign powered by the Banking on Africa’s Future (BOAF) of which I am a paid up member. I have followed the SZL saga with keen interest not because of the Zimbabwe angle but because TCCC is a global corporate icon and just the idea that this company was party to an extortion and corrupt deal involving the payment of $2.7 million to Chinamasa, Mnangagwa’s key 2017 coup ally, is chilling leading any person like me to want to know if there exists any causal link between the complicity of TCCC’s alleged corrupt practices and conduct in relation to the affairs of the SZL localization and upgrade program concluded with Africa Resources Limited (ARL), a private company incorporated in terms of the laws of the BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS (BVI) and wholly owned by Mr. Mutumwa Mawere, a Zimbabwean born South African naturalized citizen, who Mnangagwa and Chinamasa using Messrs. Edwin Manikai and Afaras Gwaradzimba as surrogates, and the extrajudicial and the unconscionable theft of the control and management of SZL and other juristic entities using an unprecedented draconian and barbaric law called the Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act that was authored by Mnangagwa to bridge him to state power.”

Mr. Cornwell Mutetwa, a Zimbabwean businesan said: “I naively thought that the reconstruction project was solely premised on the affairs of SMM as a company and not on the person of Mawere and his alleged interests in companies like SZL.

I am pleased that Mr. Mucha Mugore, a member of BOAF-JUROL, inspired by findings in his MBA dissertation research on how public power was abused in expropriating Mawere’s relationships with not only SMM but many separate and distinct juristic entities, provoked in a whatsapp group that the record of this sad chapter in the corporate history of Zimbabwe must be corrected preferably in form of a memoir written by Mawere.

I was encouraged and remain so that I have flins myself being part of this noble project that has enabled me to interface with Mr. Mawere who has generously downloaded critical information that hitherto has not been in the public domain. I had no idea that Coca Cola Holdings Netherlands (CCHN) was directly and indirectly involved in the affairs of SZL until I read this:

Having understood that it was the Zimbabwe Competition and Tariffs Commission (TCTC) was weaponized to have jurisdiction beyond its mandate to regulate competition issues to become relevant in prescribing localization matters, I began to understand that under the late Mugabe’s watch the governance system was already broken.

My memory was then provoked to appreciate why the former Minister of Indigenization, Hon Kasukuwere, had a hand in the SZL matter and used his public office to cause ZCTC to require as a condition for approving that the control and management of SZL be divested and deprived from TCCC using public power.

It is against this background that the extortion inherent in the extract below from a meeting between SZL’s then SA-based legal counsel, an employee of Coca Cola South Africa Pty Limited, a private company incorporated in terms of the laws of SA, can properly be understood:

It was made clear to CCSA that unless a payment of $2.7 million was paid to the order of Fidelity Life Asset Management (FLAM) and SMM under Chinamasa’s control through his appointee, Gwaradzimba, the ARL purchased equipment imported from Europe and delivered to SZL as part of the upgrade project, would not be released to an SZL controlled by CCSA until a ransom amount of $2.7 million was paid to the order of Chinamasa.

On the advise of Gwaradzimba whose relationship with SMM was a consequence of a decree and an order issued by Chinamasa with no judicial involvement, CCSA according to Mr. Mokwena, in his capacity as the legal counsel of both SZL and CCSA, was advised by Gwaradzimba and accepted his advise to part with a bribery of $2.7 in million to cause Chinamasa to exercise public power to issue a notice removing SZL from the purported and unlawful and invalid control by Gwaradzimba using the order issued by Chinamasa in relation to SMM affairs only.

It is chilling that Chinamasa used public power to issue a notice dates 26 January 2006 and through his appointee was rewarded with a secret gift of $2.7 million to the prejudice of ARL and its sole shareholder, Mr. Mawere.”

Mr. Peter Makoni, an attorney and a member of BOAF-JUROL, said: “I have had the opportunity to read and understand the sequence of events leading to the confiscation of equipment acquired by ARL using the personal agency of Mr. Mawere as set out below:

It is clear from the fax above that neither FLAM nor SMM under reconstruction were involved in the SZL matter as promoters and sponsors to permit any lawful payment of a bribe of $2.7 million to Chinamasa using cronies like Gwaradzimba and Manikai.

Having concluded that Chinamasa was unjustly enriched to the tune of $2.7 million based on fraudulent representation that the $2.7 million that ARL, a company whose affairs fell outside the jurisdiction of Zimbabwe and, therefore Chinamasa and his surrogates, in exchange for a government gazette to divest and deprive ARL of the control and management of the upgrade equipment that was conveyed by Petter Trading Pty Limited as ARL’s agent, received pocket money to be used for ulterior motives in the amount of $2.7 million from CCSA.

It would please anyone interested in building a future of not only Zimbabwe but Africa that is characterized by the respect of the rule of law to take notice of the documents in the flipbook below:”

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