Two suspended Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) executives allegedly stormed the company’s offices last Wednesday morning in violation of their suspension and bail conditions.
NewsDay reports that Pious Manamike (chief executive) and Maxmore Njanji (head of marketing and ginning), are challenging their forced leave and apparently seeking reinstatement.
They are, among other things, arguing that the Cottco board is illegal because it was not appointed with the blessing of other shareholders besides the government.
Government has a 37% stake and plans to up its shareholding in the company.
The suspended officials’ actions may have violated their suspension and bail conditions and could see law enforcement agents turning the heat on them.
A Cottco manager who requested not to be named told NewsDay Zimbabwe:
They came on Wednesday morning at 8 am and they wanted to go back to work, but other executives stopped them on grounds that it is the board of directors responsible for their appointments.
They are now arguing that all Cottco board members were selected by the government and other shareholders did not second their representatives, therefore, making the board, which they have been reporting to for a long time, null and void or illegal.
Cottco board chairperson Sifelani Jabangwe yesterday told NewsDay Zimbabwe that he was yet to read the letter submitted by the duo, but he warned they could have violated both their suspension and bail conditions. Jabangwe said:
I am normally away from Cottco, so will attend to their letters next week which I understand they delivered to the Cottco headquarter premises. If the two hand-delivered the letters to Cottco premises, then they breached the conditions of the leave and they also most likely breached their bail conditions.
They were arrested in late June on allegations of securing a contract for their fleet of 40 trucks to deliver inputs from Cottco’s major supplier Ferts, Seed and Grain (FSG) Private Limited.
The duo was granted ZWL$100 000 bail each when they appeared before Harare magistrate Stenford Mambanje on Wednesday 6 July 2022.