Cottco part ways with ‘new’ CEO after 3 months due to 'underperfomance'


HARARE — The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) has terminated Chief Executive Officer Prisca Mutembwa’s contract following a three-month probationary period, sources familiar with the developments have said.

Priscilla Mutembwa
Not enough — Cottco terminates Prisca Mutembwa's contract just three months in

The decision comes after the board’s evaluation of her performance, which allegedly fell short of expectations.

Mutembwa took over the role in October, succeeding former CEO Pious Manamike, who stepped down in December 2022. 

Prior to Mrs Mutembwa’s appointment, head of operations Mr Munyaradzi Chikasha was the acting principal officer.

The board is yet to appoint an acting CEO following Mrs Mutembwa’s departure, another source said.

Despite Mutembwa’s extensive experience in the industry and previous leadership roles, including a six-year tenure as CEO of Cargill Zimbabwe, the board opted not to extend her contract past the December 31, 2023, deadline.

Insiders said the board was not satisfied with her performance, leading to the decision not to offer a permanent contract.

Cottco Chairman Sifelani Jabangwe confirmed the contract termination but withheld further comments.

The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) has been troubled by mismanagement for almost a decade. 

This has indirectly contributed to the collapse of the Zimbabwean clothing industry, which has also been exacerbated by the influx of second hand clothing and cheap imports from China and Turkey.

The textile firm recently made headlines for failing to pay its employees and farmers, as well as approving expenditures without following procurement procedures. 

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