Ematum workers on strike over wage arrears
Debts to the country’s commercial banks have brought what was intended to be Mozambique’s most modern industrial slaughterhouse to its knees, reports Friday’s issue of the independent newssheet “Mediafax”.
The Matama slaughterhouse, in Manhica district, was officially inaugurated by President Filipe Nyusi in June 2016. A month earlier it had even been admitted to the Mozambique Stock Exchange (BVM).
But now its assets have been seized by court order to pay its debts. The blow came from Moza Banco, which went to court to demand repayment of a loan of 14.4 million meticais (about 236,000 US dollars).
The Maputo Provincial Court not only ordered the payment of this debt, but the sale of assorted Matama assets valued at 77.6 million meticais.
For Moza Banco is far from the company’s only creditor. The audit of the company referring to the 2015 financial year, undertaken by the consultancy company Ernst and Young, showed that Matama had liabilities of around 170 million meticais.
The major creditor is the country’s largest commercial bank, the Millennium-BIM, from which Matama borrowed 141 million meticais. Repayment of this loan, however, is not due until July 20121. Matama also owes Standard Bank 18.8 million meticais – payment of this debt is due in July 2018. Liabilities to the Mozambican state and to suppliers of services amount to a further 34 million meticais.
The court order has paralysed Matama’s activities. Nonetheless, the company administrator, Boaventura Mutombene shrugged off the crisis. He told “Mediafax” that this was a “normal situation” for anyone who risked making large scale investments, and declared that Matama will overcome its current problems.
He declined to comment in any detail on the court order, but claimed that the company’s difficulties resulted partly from a shortage of raw material. In other words, not enough livestock farmers have brought their animals to Matama to be slaughtered.
47 people purchased shares in Matama on the BVM. Since there were 35 founders of the company, this means it now has 82 shareholders. Mutombene declared that nobody would lose any money, because the company will resume operations and has “ambitious projects” (which he did not specify) up its sleeve.
The BVM chairperson, Salimo Vala, declined to comment, saying it was a matter for the Matama shareholders.
“Officially, we have no knowledge of this court order. We’ve just seen it in the press”, he said. “I think it would not be ethical to speak to the press about companies quoted on the BVM”.Source: AIM