HomeBusiness DigestHippo Valley land still listed

Hippo Valley land still listed

Eric Chiriga

HIPPO Valley Estates Ltd (Hippo) still awaits government’s decision to de-list its Hippo Valley North and Mkwasine Estate.

rif”>Chairman Godfrey Gomwe said there had been no response to the applications for delisting.

He said both Mkwasine Estate and Hippo Valley North were relisted for compulsory acquisition by government in its fast-track land resettlement programme.

There have been conflicting decisions about whether the land programme had ended.

Last week the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Joseph Made listed several farms for resettlement at a time when government claims the programme is over.

Gomwe said there was a dispute between the commercial farmers and the A2 farmers on the ownership of delivered cane.

He said the case was still to be resolved by the High Court.

“In the meantime, all proceeds from the delivered cane are being paid over to the High Court in accordance with the provisions of the interpleader proceedings,” Gomwe said.

He said sugar supplies into the local market were lower than target due to production bottlenecks at the refineries in Harare and Bulawayo caused by shortages of coal and raw sugar transport problems.

“The sugar price increase awarded on May 9 has already been overtaken by spiralling production costs threatening viability and sustainability,” he said.

“The industry has not been allowed to increase its prices des-pite extensive lobbying and the fact that sugar is not a price con-trolled product but a monitored one in terms of the guidelines of the National Economic Revival Programme announced in February.”

Gomwe said the industry continued to engage the “relevant authorities” in order to correct the price discrepancy caused by runaway inflation which reached an official all-time year-on-year high of 399,5% in July.

He said all preferential quota and regional export markets would be supplied in full.

“Erratic supply of rail wagons and locomotives has caused delays in railing stocks to port for export,” he said. Zimbabwe is facing a serious sugar crisis because of low production and worsened by the lucrative parallel market.

Sugar is now available on the streets instead of in supermarkets.

Gomwe said the milling season had begun a week later than scheduled mainly due to delays in cane deliveries from independent cane growers.

The chairman said the ZSE had exempted his company from publishing its interim results.

“In view of the seasonal nature of the company’s operations, interim financial statements are meaningless and could be misleading,” Gomwe said.

“Consequently, the ZSE has exempted the company from the requirements to publish interim results.”

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