Agric Minister faces court challenge for appointing ‘crony’ to lead CSC revival

The Allied Food Workers Union of Zimbabwe (AFWUZ) has challenged the appointment of Ngoni Kudenga as the corporate rescue practitioner for the struggling Cold Storage Commission (CSC) by Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka.

A corporate rescue practitioner is a professional appointed, to oversee a company during business rescue. They have to be registered with the Estate Administrators Council of Zimbabwe.

The government recently placed the meat processor under a corporate rescue plan in terms of the Insolvency Act while facilitating its revival.

To avert CSC from being liquidated, Minister Masuka successfully filed an application in the Bulawayo High Court, HC1779/20 and obtained an order to place the meat processor under a corporate rescue plan.

Kudenga of BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants was subsequently appointed as the corporate rescue practitioner, to lead the revivial of CSC.

Through their lawyers, Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers, CSC employees have applied to the High Court challenging Kudenga`s appointment.

“We note with concern and challenge in the strongest of terms the appointment of Mr Ngoni Kudenga of BDO Zimbabwe Chartered Accountants by his friend, associate and crony, Dr Anxious Masuka. It is a fact that the two (2) are long time business associates. In fact, when Honorable Minister of Agriculture was the Chief Executive Officer for Zimbabwe Agricultural Society, Mr Ngoni Kudenga was his Principal as the President of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society,” reads the application.

“This cronyism will clearly compromise our clients’ interests and therefore submit that Mr Ngoni Kudenga is not independent, competent and clearly conflicted. The allegations raised by Dr Masuka in HC177/20 are of serious nature and hampered the revival of Cold Storage Company (Pvt) Ltd. 

“We cannot afford to have the “jobs for boys” appointments and ignore that fact that Mr Ngoni Kudenga has also been involved in the disputed state enterprise audit at NSSA and clearly has no capabilities to turn around this company,” reads the papers in part.

The lawyer further alleged that Kudenga has clearly no track record of handling high profile jobs especially in view of his close personal relationship with the appointing authority, Dr Masuka.

“We propose that for a fair, credible process and independent audit firm be appointed.”

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