Govt-owned logistics firm Courier Connect faces closure, requires $3,8mln

Govt-owned logistics firm Courier Connect faces closure, requires $3,8mln

By Kuda Chideme, HARARE July 20 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s state run logistics firm, Courier Connect says it urgently requires capital injection of up to $3,8 million to stay afloat but is failing to attract external sources of finance owing to a weak balance sheet as it does not own any immovable property.

Courier Connect, a former Zimpost subsidiary before it was weaned off in 2008, says it has a 15 percent share in the market dominated by international firms such as DHL and FedEx, but faces closure after its operating licence expired at the weekend.

Managing director Isaac Muchokumuri told a parliamentary committee on ICT and Postal and Courier Services on Monday that the company was hard pressed for working capital and risked losing its operating license as it was failing to pay the fee of $57,000.

“The current license expired on 18 July, 2015, and we may be forced to cease operations by the regulator as we are failing to raise the required licence fee,” said Muchokumuri.

“There is need for massive investment of about $3,860 million for the company to compete effectively with well established world class commercial courier operators licensed in Zimbabwe.”

Muchokumuri said the company requires $400,000 for working capital and to pay off accumulated statutory debts to the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF).

As at December last year, the company’s debts amounted to $871,000 with 67 percent of the debts owed to statutory bodies.

Last year, Courier Connect had its bank accounts garnished several times by ZIMRA and NSSA, Muchokumuri said.