Hwange Colliery Property Saved

Hwange Colliery Property Saved
Published: 2016 May 27 04:35:24 (11916 Views)
DEBT-RIDDEN coal miner, Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL)’s equipment attached over unpaid debts was yesterday saved from going under the hammer after a public auction was cancelled.

This is the third time that a public auction to dispose of HCCL’s equipment and machinery has been called off at the last minute after involved parties resolved to settle the matter out of court leaving prospective bidders stranded.

Equipment that almost went under the hammer include 112 chairs, 276 desks, 129 filing cabinets, 63 computers, 10 computer monitors, 82 printers, 2 laptops, 11 tables, 1 sofa set, 3 fridges, 3 photocopiers, 1 shredder, 52 inch plasma TV, 1 fan, 1 scanner, 1 static power unit, LG Sony Ericson epics, Nokia dixi control, 2 coal stock piles, 2 tractors, 1 Nissan Civilian, 1 grass cutter, 1 Zhongsen motor bike and 7 steel lockers.

Also included are 2 tables, 4 drilling machines, 1 water pump, 1 water boring rig, 6 trucks, 72 transformers (70 of them not working), 7 front-end loaders, 2 excavators, 7 trailers, 2 dumpers, 15 Ford Rangers, 1 crushing plant and various types of machines.

An official from the Deputy Sherriff’s office who declined to be named said they received a directive from their head office to cancel the auction without giving reasons.

“The auction has been called off after we received a directive from Harare to cancel it. We don’t know the reason for the cancellation as we were not told.  It was simply a directive,” he said.

Last Thursday the district deputy sheriff said in a notice that it would be selling the company’s movable assets at a public auction in the town by yesterday in an effort to settle debts that HCCL owes to different creditors.

The companies who are suppliers of equipment and services to HCCL are reportedly owed close to $2 million. The company, which has been struggling to raise working capital to cover operational costs was recently forced to borrow consumables such as diesel and oil.

HCCL managing director, Thomas Makore is on record as saying legacy debts were a major impediment in efforts to turn around the company’s fortunes after a decade of financial crisis.

He said they were constantly being dragged to court by creditors over debts as they were faced with cash-flow challenges despite the securing of new equipment worth $40 million from Belarus and India.

The company has been fighting litigations from various suppliers and former employees with cases worth $20 million having been awarded against it.

“As I speak to you right now we are faced with legal battles with some creditors most of whom are our suppliers. We’ve been facing challenges in remitting pension and tax to Zimra and NSSA and this had negative effects on the performance of the company,” said Makore recently.

Zimra’s $80 million debt constitutes half of the coal miners’ total debts, made up of suppliers and unpaid salaries.

Briefing the company’s board, management and worker representatives last week the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Fred Moyo said the company had secured the $7.5 million loan from Agribank, which was going to be used as working capital and to pay June salaries amongst others.

- Chronicle

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