Mmegi Online :: Choppies loses P95m as Zim shops burnt, looted
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Last Updated
Friday 16 August 2019, 15:05 pm.
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Choppies loses P95m as Zim shops burnt, looted

Choppies suffered damages worth $9 million (P94.6 million) recently in Zimbabwe, after its shops were burnt and looted during nationwide demonstrations against a recent sharp increase in fuel prices.
By Mbongeni Mguni Fri 01 Feb 2019, 15:05 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Choppies loses P95m as Zim shops burnt, looted








Zimbabweans embarked on a three-day national stayaway recently to protest the shock fuel prices increase, but the peaceful protests turned violent with soldiers unleashed on protestors. Human rights organisations in the country said up to 12 people were killed with hundreds of others beaten up, tortured and jailed, as authorities crushed the protests.

Police and military officials in that country have since blamed the deaths on criminals and rogue elements within their own ranks, whom they say stole uniforms and committed violent acts on citizens.

Yesterday, Choppies said it was still assessing losses from the violence, but confirmed that nine stores had been looted in high-density neighbourhoods in that country. Stock worth $2.5 million was taken away in the incidents.

 

Four stores were torched as well.

“We hope the law would catch up with the suspects in the very foreseeable future so that they can answer for their actions,” Choppies Zimbabwe management said.

“The total value of the equipment and assets that were destroyed by the fire has been put at close to $6.5 million.”

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The Botswana Stock Exchange-listed regional retailer said it would be staying put in Zimbabwe, despite the recent losses.  “At the moment, we await the full evaluation of the damage by our insurers.

“Once that is done, we will then start the process of refurbishing those shops that were attacked.  “We aim to have, in total, about 60 shops in Zimbabwe and we hope that the Zimbabwean family will be with us as we continue with this journey of providing shopping excellence to the people.” Reports from the ground during the demonstrations suggested a targeting of Choppies outlets by criminals, due to their perceived closeness to political authorities in that country. Until very recently, Choppies was in partnership with Zimbabwe’s former Vice President, Phelekezela Mphoko and his son, Siqokoqela. The two parties have since parted ways.

Choppies group CEO, Ramachandran Ottapathu told Mmegi that Choppies was merely among other businesses targeted by looters and arsonists. “It was not only Choppies they were looting and burning, other shops too,” he said.

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