Kawambwa Tea company problems to persist as Zimbabwean investor says he has no resources
Problems at Kawambwa Tea Company in Luapula province are expected persist as the Zimbabwean investor, Kumul Holdings, says it has no resources to resume production at the company.
And Secretary to the Cabinet, Roland Msiska, has pleaded with workers to give govt time to study the contract which the two parties entered into before taking action to avoid legal implications.
The workers fumed when they saw the investor in the meeting after years of his disappearance from the country following a backlog of debts in unpaid salaries to the employees.
The workers and management requested that the investor be ejected from the meeting and District Commissioner, Ivo Mpasa, wondered how the investor found himself in the meeting without being invited by either govt or the workers.
Secretary to the Cabinet, Roland Msiska, sympathised with the workers for having stayed without salaries for many years.
Dr Msiska said the problems of the tea company have come to the attention of govt but could not disclose the action it intends to take.
He commended the workers for keeping the company alive though without salaries.
Dr Msiska pledged to engage the Ministry of Commerce to strategise on how the tea company could be saved from demise.
Representative of the workers, Wellington Mwewa, lamented how the workers have suffered for the last ten years the company has been in the private hands following its privatisation by the former govt.
Mr Mwewa appealed to government to consider repossessing the firm and further recapitalise it so that it once again could start producing tea.
He stated that all the workers have resolved not to accept the Zimbabwean investor whom he described as an unfaithful investor.
Mr MWewa noted that it is evident that the investor has failed to commence production since taking over the company.
And in a separate meeting, the Zimbabwean investor confirmed that his company is struggling to raise funds to resume production, noting that it will take more than 18 months to start tea production.
Company Business Development Manager, Gilbert Marebe, said his company is fundraising to ensure that the tea company is revamped but noted that it will take time because the firm has lost a lot of money hence he could not give the Secretary to Cabinet a definite time frame.
Mr Marebe stated that he would contact the company headquarters in Harare before making commitment to revamping the tea company.
Dr Msiska is in Luapula Province on a familiarisation tour and to inspect some government developmental projects.