EMBATTLED cement manufacturer, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe (LACZ), has tabled plans to rebrand to Khaya Cement on the back of rigorous management board changes, the company’s management revealed Friday.
The development comes shortly after the company’s request for a three months’ suspension from the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) was granted this week.
LAfarge is currently embroiled in a tiff with the US Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) which stalled a recently concluded deal by Fossil Mines to buy a 76% stake in the cement manufacturer.
In mid-December 2022 OFAC added Fossil Agro, Fossil Contracting and the group’s chief executive officer, Obey Chimuka, to its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list due to alleged links to a previously sanctioned individual, Kudakwashe Tagwirei, and his company, Sakunda Holdings.
OFAC contends that the business tycoon “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, the Government of Zimbabwe.
It accused him of using his relationships with government officials to gain state contracts, to receive access to currencies including the US Dollar and of supplying luxury items such as cars to ministers.
In an update Friday, LACZ acting company secretary Arnold Chikazhe informed stakeholders on the latest rebranding strategy.
“The company would like to inform shareholders and valued stakeholders that following the exit of Associated International Cement Limited from the business, the Company will now be trading as (t/a) Khayah Cement pending finalization of the registration of the trade name by the Registrar of Companies,” he said in a statement.
He also revealed that the company is reconstituting the composition of the board of directors as well as the necessary board committees, pointing out that in this latter regard, the announcement of the relevant appointments will be made shortly.
“The public is advised that these processes will have no material effect on either the quality or availability of any of the Company’s range of products as well as its overall operations,” added Chikazhe.