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» » » Lossmaking CSFAZ at war with itself

Beatific Gumbwanda

- Members of the Commercial Sugarcane Farmers Association of Zimbabwe (CSFAZ) have come out guns blazing against their leaders whom they accuse of mismanaging the organisation and taking wrong investment decision leading to massive losses.
The discontent became apparent in the association's annual general meeting (AGM) held at Polo Cross in Hippo Valley last week.
The members accused management of detouring from the association's core business of ensuring the viability of farming ventures while investing funds in lossmaking enterprises.
One of the members, Tungamirai Rukatya, who is former Medical Superintendent at Chiredzi General Hospital, said he was not happy with the executive's poor management of assets.

"The objective of the association is to make sure that the farmer is viable and that he is being properly represented. The Association should not engage in business where it ends up competing with its members, a situation which leads to all the problems that we have. Our trucks are making huge losses and we can't afford that," said Rukatya.
Another member, Veronica Makonese criticised management for allegedly stifling free speech and called for the respect of the principle of accountability.
"We don't have freedom of speech here and that is very bad. Everyone should be free to express his/her views and our questions should be properly answered," Makonese said.

... as association guns for Musikavanhu

Beatific Gumbwanda

– Aspiring Chiredzi West Zanu PF Member of Parliament Farai Musikavanhu, who is former agriculture director at Tongaat Hullet Zimbabwe and a member of the Commercial Sugarcane Farmers Association of Zimbabwe (CSFAZ), was blamed for the problems facing the association.
During the AGM, CSFAZ chairperson Tawanda Mafurutu and incumbent Chiredzi West MP Darlington Chiwa charged that Musikavanhu, who is now also a member of the association, had used his time at Tongaat Hullet to create the dispute between Tongaat Hullet and sugarcane farmers over Division of Proceeds (DOP).
DOP is the monetary ratio which Tongaat Hullet, as the miller of all sugarcane in Chiredzi, charges farmers for processing every tone of sugarcane into raw sugar.
In 2014, the Industry and trade ministry set the provisional DOP at 18 percent for the miller, meaning the farmer walked away with 82 percent.
However, an independent consultant called Ernst & Young was later consulted leading to recommendations that the actual rate should be 23 percent for the miller and 77 percent for the farmer.
This meant that the farmer had been unduly profiting at the expense of the miller, forcing Tongaat Hullet to institute measures to recover that money, much to the chagrin of the farmers.
At the AGM Mafurutu said he had asked Musikavanhu to help resolve the issue by giving a detailed presentation of what really transpired when he was still with the sugar giant to enable the association to seek intervention from Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
".... I told Musikavanhu that you are the architect of these problems we are facing and you need to resolve them before seeking public office. So we invited him to write a detailed report which we presented to the Vice President so he could intervene," said Mafurutu.
Chiwa, who was also given the podium by public demand, took the opportunity to attack Musikavanhu, urging farmers not to trust him as he was the cause of all their problems.
"My operations are quite different with what aspiring candidates do. I am the centre for information and you should consult me on issues to do with policy making….Musikavanhu calculated these issues when he was still at Tongaat Hullet and the farmer is now being milked dry," Chiwa alleged.

CSFAZ chairperson Tawanda Mafurutu, however, defended the leadership of the association and challenged members to report issues in the proper way without going public.
 "Rukatya you are my nephew and you also have a big farm and you are still borrowing inputs and you are even failing to pay your debts because of the economic challenges we have. You should have approached me and told me how we were supposed to handle the issues, rather than letting them spill out like this," said Mafurutu.
The chairperson's annual report indicated that the association's two trucks failed to generate a single cent in profit last year.
"We have two trucks under our fleet and truck ABQ 6455 had one major breakdown in October 2016 and was repaired in November 2016. A total of 95 loads were ferried in the period under review giving us a total of $63641 and total expenditure of $64 540," said Mafurutu.local

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