Stone Shi evicted

Stone Shi evicted

MASERU – A Chinese-Australian who is embroiled in wool and mohair wars in Lesotho has been evicted from the Thaba-Bosiu Wool and Mohair Centre. Stone Shi, CEO of the Maseru Dawning Trading Company that was in a joint venture with the Lesotho National Wool and Mohair Growers Association (LNWMGA), confirmed to thepost that he has been kicked out of the facility he helped build.

Khotsang Moshoeshoe, a vocal wool and mohair businessman who is also the sector’s political face in Mokhotlong district, confirmed Shi’s forced exit.
Shi now operates from a Lesotho Mounted Police Service storage facility.
Moshoeshoe said now that Shi is out of the picture the centre will be used to store wool and mohair while awaiting exportation to South Africa.
Shi is crying foul, saying he has been dealt a raw deal.

“I was evicted from the centre even though I still go there because of machinery and equipment that is still there,” Shi said.
“My partners evicted me from a place I built. I did not only invest heavily in the construction of the facility but I also gave them 75 percent shareholding.”

“However, after all that I have been evicted out of a facility I invested heavily in.”
He added the apart from evicting him the association is still insisting it has barred him from taking any wool or mohair to the centre.
“Even today I have not received even one bale of wool and mohair from the association. I do not know what is going to happen with the facility.”

Shi said the facility “was supposed to bring us business but as soon as the construction was done my partner did not want to engage with me in any sort of communication to forge a way forward”.

Shi built the centre in partnership with the LNWMGA in a deal he said was going to benefit Basotho farmers.
Their relations however soured after the association pulled out of the deal and sued Shi.
The association won the case.

Shi is said to have the backing of some ministers who tinkered with regulations to shore up his fledgling business.
The government has introduced stiff penalties for people who sell or buy wool and mohair without a licence. It has also banned the export of wool and mohair without licence.

All these, critics say, are meant to assist Shi’s business.
BKB, the South African company that has been buying Lesotho’s wool and mohair for over four decades has been at loggerheads with the government.
The government has accused the company of evading tax and opening bank accounts without proper documents.
BKB has said all those charges are trumped up and a ruse to hound it out of Lesotho so as to give an unfair advantage to competitors.

Lemohang Rakotsoane

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