Steam Train Com­pany grinds to a halt

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Leonard Ncube Vic­to­ria Falls Re­porter

THE Vic­to­ria Falls Steam Train Com­pany has been liq­ui­dated and its as­sets are set to go un­der the ham­mer on Septem­ber 9 to pay debts amount­ing to nearly $1 mil­lion.

The com­pany was reg­is­tered in 2000 to op­er­ate, mar­ket and sell ex­cur­sions on his­tor­i­cal trains and trams in Vic­to­ria Falls.

Since 2014 when its tram was in­volved in a col­li­sion with a Na­tional Rail­ways of Zim­babwe train re­sult­ing in the death of a tourist and in­juries to 20 oth­ers, the com­pany has been strug­gling.

The liq­uida­tor, Mr Wins­ley Mil­i­tala of Petwin Ex­ecu­tor and Trust Com­pany said the com­pany has to­tal li­a­bil­i­ties of $837 261 against non-cur­rent as­sets of $294 900.

“The busi­ness op­er­ated well un­til the time a tram was in­volved in a col­li­sion with a NRZ train and that, cou­pled with the pull-out of the in­vestor-Ba­toka Hospi­tal­ity-pre­cip­i­tated the col­lapse of the com­pany as the in­vestor now de­manded a re­pay­ment of a loan amount in ex­cess of $250 000,” said Mr Mil­i­tala in a state­ment.

He said since Vic­to­ria Falls Steam Train Com­pany was prac­ti­cally in­sol­vent due to the non-op­er­a­tion of its dam­aged tram, the di­rec­tors saw it fit to ap­ply for vol­un­tary liq­ui­da­tion by spe­cial res­o­lu­tion.

The liq­uida­tor is in the process of dis­pos­ing the com­pany’s as­sets which in­clude two coaches and a tram, said Mr Mil­i­tala.

Mr Phillip Charles Steel, is the com­pany’s ma­jor share­holder with 70 per­cent shares.

The other share­hold­ers are Mrs Shee­lah Alexan­dra Bell (10 per­cent), Michael Napier Clin­ton (10 per­cent) while David James Simp­son and Wil­liam In­gram Davis each have 5 per­cent.

Go­ing into liq­ui­da­tion, the com­pany had al­ready ceased op­er­a­tions.

The open-sided tram is a mod­ern built replica of a clas­sic 1890s model and ac­com­mo­dates about 30 pas­sen­gers.— @ ncubeleon.

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