By A Correspondent| The recently released Pandora Papers have provided answers to all the land problems Chisumbanje villagers have been facing since controversial businessman Billy Rautenbach established his ethanol production company on their door-step.
According to the Pandora Papers, Rautenbach’s Green Fuel business was constantly making losses due to the unviability of its operations which resulted in him pushing the Zimbabwe government to gazette mandatory blending which forced all locally sold fuel to be mixed with ethanol under the guise of reducing fuel import bill.
The report further revealed Billy’s insatiable appetite for land which has seen him demanding more land to feed into his business which since its inception has been falsely externalising its profits under the guise of paying back a loan to his offshore company.
As reported in the South Africa’s Daily Maverick, Green Fuel claimed to have been making losses with the bulk of its liabilities stemming from interest bearing loans which Rautenbach made to himself at very high interest rates.
The report further revealed that Rautenbach made a false donation of a company to his wife claiming that it was payment for her role in the while business empire but later revelations showed that he still retained control of his so called donated investment to his wife.
In 2016, the company’s auditors raised concern about its ability to continue as a going concern due to it suffering $12,8-million losses in that financial year and its current liabilities exceeding current assets by $229-million.
The bulk of the liabilities stemmed from interest-bearing loans which Rautenbach made to himself at interest rates of between 8% to 20% per annum.
In addition, an improvement in Green Fuel’s performance and likelihood of future profitability is also highly dependent on being able to expand its harvestable sugarcane so that the plant can operate at its installed 100-million litre capacity: in other words, getting access to more land.