Chihuri ‘forced out’

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Collins Chihuri has stepped down as managing director of Cottco after opting out of the new dispensation ushered in by turnaround strategy, group executive chairman Douglas Ncube has said.

Chihuri ’s last day in office was Friday.

“He (Chihuri ) opted out. It took long for him to be released. He had a three-year contract, which each party can terminate on three months’ notice,” Ncube said.

Cottco is a subsidiary of Cottco Holdings, whose other subsidiaries are Cottco International, Zambano Investments (Private) Limited and Exhort Enterprises (Private) Limited.

Chihuri took over as MD in January last year, joining from rival company, Olam, where he was chief operating officer for six years.

Ncube said when things settle, the company will look for a suitable person to come in as managing director and he reverts to his previous position of board chairman.

Ncube was appointed Cottco executive chairman to ensure a forensic audit was carried out on the company and that senior management would co-operate with auditors.

Chihuri 's former Employer Cottc

Chihuri ‘s former Employer Cottco

The audit was meant to unravel what had happened to the company’s assets after the unbundling of AICO.

The audit was also meant to establish if the allegations levelled against senior management were true and review the circumstances surrounding the purchase of excess inventory such as bales and grain bags.

There were also allegations that the company had purchased residential property for senior managers.

The audit was also meant to assess completeness and accuracy of all corporate loans and the manner in which they arose, including the utilisation of the funds.

The forensic audit was also supposed to look at the change from car policy to a vehicle loan scheme and whether or not the change in policy resulted in any cost savings to Cottco.

In the financial year ended March 31 2015, Cottco Holding saw its revenue declining by 9% to $38,3 million, attributed to a reduction in lint prices recorded by the cotton business-NewsDay

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