Firm dismisses racism, gender bias claims

Source: Firm dismisses racism, gender bias claims | The Herald

Firm dismisses racism, gender bias claims

Herald Reporter

FEEDMIX has dismissed as baseless claims by a former director that the company is facing challenges, mistreats women and is opposed to foreign investors and says the ownership dispute over half of its  shares is now in the courts.

This comes after former director Mr Yitbarek Tekie, whose claim of owning half the company, was disputed before spilling into the country’s courts, claimed that the Feedmix was in the crosshairs of law enforcement agents due to its operations.

But Feedmix chief executive officer Trevor Volker told The Herald yesterday that the matter of Mr Tekie’s 50 percent share ownership went for arbitration, with judgment pending.

“For the record Feedmix consists of two shareholders: John Taylor and Alexander Kirkman. Those are the principal shareholders.

“At some point in time John Talyor decided that he wanted to sell his shares and Tekie was going to buy his shares.

“That transaction fell apart and it has now gone to arbitration. Alex Kirkman never sold his shares so he remains with 50 percent shares while the other 50 remains under arbitration,” he said.

He said after a fall-out in the boardroom, the environment became toxic with some employees loyal to Mr Tekie using their positions to sully the reputation of Feedmix.

“Contrary to his claims that the company is anti-women, the majority of employees occupying management positions are women. I don’t know what toxic environment he is talking about. As for racism, that again is not true as we are multiracial and are open to investors”.

On reports made to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), Mr Volker said “there was an allegation that was never proved, and the audit he keeps on talking about was produced by a person he had brought here when he was a director”.

“If we had assets stripped to the tune of US$2 million, we wouldn’t be here. We would have closed shop. Tekie never injected any money into this company, and how could he have invested in a financially insolvent company?

“Tekie faces a court case against Feedmix for a product he sold and never delivered, on top of that no asset belonging to Feedmix has ever been moved”.

Mr Tekie’s attempts to buy the 50 percent shares fell apart after it was discovered that a property that was supposed to be part of the transaction did not exist.

Presently, the company employs more than 500 people and has branches countrywide.