The Herald (Harare)

15 August 2014

Zimbabwe: Lion Matches Factory to Go Under Hammer

LION Matches Zimbabwe's factory in Workington, Harare is set to go under the hammer at a public auction to be held today.

The factory has several warehouses, three blocks of offices, two store rooms and safe rooms, residential houses, canteens, boiler area and ablution facilities.

The factory is one of several properties that are being auctioned by Ruby Auctions Real Estate on behalf of their clients.

The property is being auctioned after Mr Vinicent Mupumha and 162 others won a case against Lion Matches Limited over the payment of outstanding salaries.

In 2010 the workers camped at the company's premises demanding their pay after having gone for close to two years without being paid.

Early in that year, the workers took the company to the labour court and won their case but were not paid anything

The arbitration ruling had ordered the company to pay the workers' salaries and allowances for 2010.

The company, which is a household name in Africa with bases in Tanzania and Nigeria, has not been manufacturing in Zimbabwe due to unspecified reasons.

Meanwhile the cases of properties being attached and auctioned due to debts owed to local banks continue to increase as banks step up efforts to recover their money from defaulting clients.

According to the schedule of properties to be auctioned today the majority of properties are from cases between banks and their clients. Some of the banks include NMB, FBC, CABS, POSB, Tetrad Investment Bank, CBZ, Metbank, Stanbic and Capital Bank Corporation.

This comes as the average ratio of non-performing loans (NPL) to total advances rose marginally in three months to March as the weak economy militated against borrower's ability to repay.

NPL to total loans increased to 17 percent in the quarter to March from 16 percent as at December 31 last year, the Reserve Bank said in its latest banking sector quarterly report. Loans and advances for the quarter stood at about $3,64 billion.

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