Farewell to the Cottco Chief

The Honourable Deputy Minister of AgricultureCottco's head office staff bade an emotional farewell to Group Chief Executive Officer Sylvester Nguni who resigned following his appointment as Deputy Minister of Agriculture. Addressing staff gathered in the canteen, Cde Nguni spoke of his long association with the business and thanked everyone for their contributions and support over the years.

Cottco Managing Director Happymore Mapara replied on behalf of the staff and was able to lift spirits by injecting his own style of very appropriate humour into the occasion. He wished him well in his new role as a key member of government, overseeing the agroindustrial heart of the nation.

Cde Nguni was appointed general manager of the Cotton Marketing Board in 1990, guided the parastatal through its commercialization process to privatization as The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe Limited and its listing on the stock exchange in 1997. More than any other individual, he has been responsible for the development of Zimbabwe's cotton industry and creating the biggest buyer, ginner and marketer of cotton in Southern Africa, Cottco.

In Cde Sylvester Nguni's appointment to Government, Cottco's loss is the nation's gain. With over 20 years' work in the local and international cotton industry, Zimbabwe can only benefit from his wealth of experience.

Cottco's management also hosted a befitting farewell function for the Honourable Deputy Minister, on 10 June 2005 at the Cotton Pavilion. This is Cottco's stand in the Exhibition Park, also operating throughout the year for corporate functions, a brilliant idea which originally was his brainchild. The function was well attended by captains of industry who had interacted with him during his tenure as leader of Cottco. Mr Happymore Mapara, Mr Nicholas Nyandoro, the board chairman and Cde Nguni, made some memorable speeches during this event, which ended with a presentation of two lovely olive wood and carved ivory candleholders to our former chief executive officer. The managing director Mr Mapara noted that the light shining from these candle holders represented the deputy Minister's role which he played when he showed the way forward for us all at Cottco and made it a southern African market leader with real fibre.

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