Zambeef Should Show Corporate Maturity

By Kelvin Esiasa

It is very sad to see how Zambeef management has conducted itself in the meat scandal. The organization’s behavior has revealed that the company has a lot to learn.

One of the lessons that the organization need to learn is the need to conduct is its affairs maturely.

When the case was reported by the media instead of studying the matter carefully Zambeef rushed to give press statements which have now contradicted the company acts.

The media reported that Zambeef had refuted the reports that their meats were contaminated with harmful chemicals.

Zambeef Plc Chief Executive Officer Francis Grogan was reported to have said that Zambeef adhered to strict regulations on food safety in its 22 years of meat business and labeled the report as false.

Zambeef also dismissed and despised the test results that were released by Ministry of Health and requested for an independent testing.

There were also reports that Zambeef had gone round the nation denouncing the government and all individuals criticizing and labeling them as liars.

Some sections of society also accused the ruling government as being behind the people spreading false stories on Zambeef.

United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema charged that the ruling Patriotic Front had shifted its attention from harassing opposition leaders to harassing Zambeef.

But in the twist of events Zambeef were reported to have removed the suspected meat from their shelves and introduced a new campaign aimed at promoting local products instead of imported meats.

The company also went ahead to burn the suspected products in full view of government. The Zambian government also confirmed that Zambeef imported meat had harmful chemicals.

Health Minister Joseph Kasonde said Formaldehydes found in Zambeef meat was in a group of Aldehydes and was a compound mainly used in embalming corpses for preservation.

Zambeef case is similar to other cases of corporate wickedness. In China, Chinese police arrested individuals accused of taking meat from rats and foxes and selling it as lamb.

The world’s biggest food company, Swiss-based Nestle, and the world’s top beef producer, JBS of Brazil were embroiled in Europe’s spiralling horsemeat scandal.

In Zambia the police on several occasions arrested individuals who sold dog meat as goat meat to bar goers.

So, the behavior showed by Zambeef leaves much to be desired. In the first place, the company should have avoided a blame game.

There was no need for Zambeef to accuse individuals and government as being behind the saga.

There was also no need to despise and accuse the government of harassment. Instead, they should have shown remorse in the first place when the case was reported by the media.

The organization should have been polite and respects the general public queries rather than dispel report. They should have also demonstrated corporate wisdom.

There was no need for Zambeef to run around the nation telling the Zambians that the saga was a smear campaign that was engineered by public witches and jealous businessmen.

What Zambeef should have done was to explain to the public politely with no pompousness.

Zambeef should have shown corporate maturity by investigating the report and ensure that the report was under control.

They should have blended this approach by engaging stakeholders to help them to explain the case to the general public.

The move to stock local products is welcome, but Zambeef should first explain to the general public if the information released by the government is true.

The damage on the company is huge. So, Zambeef should not behave as if all is well it’s high time they demonstrated corporate wisdom for the general public are anxiously waiting to see what will be done to Zambeef.

Kelvin Esiasa – President for Zambia Society for Public Administration and Society for family business.