LUXAFLOR Roses, the company which got a US$750 000 bank loan guarantee from government that has raised eyebrows, says it does not have any link with Zanu PF, despite its manager having previously expressed support for President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The government announced in last Friday’s Government Gazette that it will guarantee a US$750 000 CBZ loan to Luxaflor Roses under the Covid-19 Economic Recovery and Stimulus Package.
The guarantee covers 50% of the facility meant to finance the procurement of raw materials for the production and export of roses.
In November 2020, the horticulture project run by Aart Nugteren and his son Roelof was reported to be exporting 30 million to 35 million rose stems per year, earning US$8.2 million.
In an interview in August 2018, Roelof told an international newsletter that Mnangagwa would be the best leader for Zimbabwe, arguing that Chamisa would not be able to fulfil electoral promises.
“He (Mnangagwa) got 80 to 90% of the votes in all rural areas. The only place where many people were against him was capital city Harare. Unemployment is very high there. November last year, everyone was jumping for joy at the prospect of change after all that time. And now, people in the cities already want to see more changes. It’s important to stay realistic,” Roelof said then.
“Chamisa promises the population all sorts of things, but he wouldn’t be able to deliver, because he doesn’t have any international contacts. Mnangagwa’s past might not be great, but foreign companies and organisations all know him. He’ll open Zimbabwe’s borders for international trade. What Zimbabwe needs now is hard currency, and Mnangagwa will be able to attract investors.
“Zanu PF is the best party for employers, we can see they’re trying their best. For example, by offering foreign companies the opportunity to purchase land.”
Roelof referred questions from The NewsHawks on the loan guarantee to the company’s chairperson, saying he was just a “farm manager”.
Luxaflor chairperson Yakub Mahomed said the guarantee was based on merit as the company had no links to the government.
“The guarantee was based on three things: growing the rose industry, creating jobs and earning foreign currency. We started with nine hectares and we are intending to be on 32 hectares in September. Most of our money has been going towards capital expansion. We need to import the greenhouses because they last longer,” Mahomed said.
“We have been going to the banks but have not been successful there because the banks are not accepting security of things on the farm. So, government stepped up because they could see the vision we have and the process was thorough. I have been working closely with government on the 200-hectare rollout we are working on. And I should just add, this will be a loan and we will pay it back.”
He said exports were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic but were starting to improve.
The 16-hectare rose farm is in Concession.
The guarantee reads: “It is hereby notified, in terms of section 300 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with section 18 (2) of the Public Debt Management Act [Chapter 22:21], that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development hereby issued the following:
(a) Guarantee, binding the Government of Zimbabwe as surety for the repayment of US$750,000,00 (50% of the facility) to Luxaflor Roses (Private) Limited from CBZ Bank Limited to finance the procurement of raw materials for production and export of roses under the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Stimulus Package;
(b) should there be any outstanding amounts due to Lender at the date of maturity of the Guarantee; the Guarantor undertakes to make full payment of all amounts payable by the Guarantor in terms of this Guarantee upon demand from the Lender within thirty (30) calendar days;
(c) that the total amount of this Guarantee shall be reduced by any payment of the principal, interest and fees by the Lender, or any payment of the principal, interest and fees by the Guarantor;
(d) Guarantee is for the use and benefit of the Lender and the Lender may not without consent of the Guarantor, assign, transfer, mortgage, charge and deal in any matter with or all of its rights and obligations under this Guarantee;
(e) The guarantee shall remain valid and in force until all amounts due under the terms and conditions of the Facility are paid up.”
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