Mnangagwa son-in-law linked to attempt to seize CSC cold chain facility

HARARE – Cold Storage Company (CSC) management in Harare is battling to ward off attempts by a close friend of President Mnangagwa’s son-in-law Gerald Mlotshwa to seize control of a refurbished cold-chain facility at the Gleneagles plant, ZimLive can report.

CSC’s head of security at the plant, Milton Makambaya, filed an incident report with the Master of the High Court on August 24 describing how Victor Mhondera threatened company security before breaking and replacing locks, claiming authority from vice president Constantino Chiwenga.

“They went on to threaten security telling them they could report anywhere they wanted,” the incident report said, adding that Mhondera had warned “all CSC employees would be sorry tomorrow”.

The incident happened on August 23 and was followed by another visit the following day when Mhondera arrived with heavies that claimed to be CIO agents.

“Today the 24th of August 22, Mr Mhondera came again at 1200hrs, in the company of five gentlemen  whom he claimed are CIO and were to assist him entry into the Callers. We requested their identification which they refused to provide. They were driving an unmarked Isuzu vehicle,” the incident report continued.

Sources inside CSC say Mhondera is trying to force out the legitimate tenant from a cold-chain facility at the Callers building, mistakenly believing the refrigeration equipment, cold rooms and meat processing equipment to be CSC property.

“The real thing they want is the Tribal Meats section which was refurbished to a very high level and has a full building blower in addition to the cold rooms, smokers and even air conditioning in the offices,” a CSC employee said.

“But only the building is CSC property, it was not even a cold chain facility. The blower refrigeration, air curtains, and cold rooms belong to the tenant. If they strip out their equipment, it is just an empty shell. The CSC chiller and freezer are being leased for storage because they broke down a long time ago.”

Police sources say Mhondera, who is already under investigation for the August 23 break-in, could face separate charges after his representatives misled Assistant Inspector Mavhuma, officer in charge of crime at ZRP Southerton.

“They presented themselves as Aringa Services and falsely claimed the equipment inside the meat processing factory belonged to CSC but investigations have revealed the equipment as belonging to the tenant,” a source said.

ZimLive understands that the CSC building is back under the control of Tribal Meats after its security broke Mhondera’s locks after overpowering a guard identifying himself as a Zanu PF ‘Zone 2’ campaigner.

“They did a reverse spoliation because they are the lawful occupants and are back in the building,” a CSC employee said.

Security sources said Mhondera has no links to the CIO nor Chiwenga.

Instead, he is close friends with Mlotshwa whose law firm, Titan Law, represented Boustead Beef in the application that removed the judicial manager, who was considered hostile, lawyer Vonani Majoko.

Mhondera claims to have been given a lease by Boustead Beef despite the presence of the existing tenant who has been in occupation since 2015.

Boustead Beef was brought as an investor to resuscitate CSC but came under question when it emerged it was a startup without the capacity to invest its undertaking US$130 million over five years.

In May, The Standard reported that the now-removed judicial manager had accused Boustead Beef of collecting rents from tenants but not putting money into business operations.

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