Home » General » Blue Ribbon Workers to Demonstrate Against Millers

BLUE Ribbon Industries employees have threatened to fight grain millers for attempting to block the agro processor’s proposed takeover by Tanzanian-based Bakhresa.BRI employees plan to demonstrate at the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe chairman Mr Tafadzwa Musarara’s offices to register their displeasure.

“We would like to aise you of the impending demonstration by the Blue Ribbon Industries employees.

The demonstration will be conducted at your offices from 1000hrs to 1200hrs on the 6th of February 2015.

The demonstration is meant to communicate the Blue Ribbon employees’ displeasure on the attitude of the Grain Millers Association with regards to the Blue Ribbon Industries’, particularly, the Bakhresa deal in which your Association is seeking to block the deal when you know very well that employees are wallowing in poverty,” said Mr Adoniah Mutero the general secretary of the United Food and Allied Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe. The BRIBakhresa deal has come under immense pressure following proposals by the foreign investor to halt indigenisation plans at least for 10 years.

Industry players have also petitioned Government to block the deal because the potential investor has offered to pay a “paltry” $19 million for the company which has potential to generate about $60 million annually.

They argue that the $18,8 million Bakhresa has offered to pay is not even enough to cover BRI’s $29,8 million debt when BRI can generate aggregate sales of up to $216,7 million in three years when capitalised.

This was revealed in a letter to the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mike Bimha, by the millers who said that after discounting the judicial management fees, legal fees and other ancillary costs related to the purchase, the funds are not sufficient to settle its outstanding liabilities.

The deal is currently under Cabinet consideration.

Meanwhile, youth empowerment proponents, Upfumi Kuvadiki has waded into the controversial deal after writing to the Industry and Commerce Minister arguing that “it may be embarrassing to the nation that foreigners prepare it (staple food) for us”.

“The value that is being offered for the entity is heavily discounted, and for a company under judicial management, we are concerned about the interests of the judicial manager in this case,” Mr Fungai Kangai president of Upfumi Kuvadiki said in his letter.

“Milling is a sensitive sector as it is involved in securing food for the nation especially our staple food and other basic foodstuffs also making it a security concern,” he said.

Upfumi Kuvadiki said that it successfully opposed the Grain Marketing Board’s engagement of Pakistani millers and “will continue to discourage such moves in reserved sectors”.

Source : The Herald

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