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Last Gasp Efforts To Keep KFC Open

ISAAC PINIELO
Anthony Siwawa
A provisional liquidator appointed to handle the winding up of all the 12 stores of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in Botswana says all efforts are being made to keep the business open.

The liquidator, Nigel Dixon-Warren, who is a partner with KPMG in Botswana said that they are going to make sure that the stores remain open with support from KFC Africa.

He noted that VPB Propco, the company that owns the local KFC franchise, had decided to close shop because they had run out of supplies.

“We are working tirelessly to make sure that the stores resume operating on Monday (today) and current disruption in operations will be sorted,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anthony Siwawa, owner of VPB Propco stated that the closure is a result of a number of factors, chief of which is the end of the franchise agreement, and the acceptance that it no longer makes business sense to continue operations.

“We have worked in the last 12 months to try and progress through sale of the business rather than closure, however this has not been possible,” he said.

According to Siwawa, closure and retrenchment has always been a last resort that the company fought to avoid, noting that as difficult a decision as it was to make, it was a necessary

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one.

“We took over the business that was troubled in 2010 and it has not grown ever since,” he stated.

He further indicated that they were looking to sell the business in a bid to ensure it remained operational where there was no strong business sense for them to continue managing it; however, a buyer was not found and no sale took place.

The closure will mean 400 employees across the country will lose their jobs.

“We will work closely with the Department of Labour and Home Affairs as well as our own human resources (HR) team to ensure all are treated not only procedurally, but in a manner befitting the dedicated service which they have given. We will also be looking into the provision of counselling for staff in need during this time,” said Siwawa.

He indicated that they were looking to sell the business in a bid to ensure it remained operational where there was no strong business sense for them to continue managing it.  However, he said a buyer was not found and no sale took place.



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