Choppies Zimbabwe

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Choppies Retail Store

Choppies Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwean operation of Botswana Stock Exchange-listed supermarket retail chain Choppies. Choppies Zimbabwe is owned by Nanavac Investment (Pvt) Ltd which is itself owned 51% by Siqokoqela Mphoko (son to former Zimbabwe vice president Phelekezela Mphoko) to and 49% the Botswana stock exchange listed Choppies. Vice president Mphoko was the chairman of Choppies Zimbabwe as of December 2014, however. The parent group company, Choppies, has former president, Festus Mogae, as chairman.

Choppies entered Zimbabwe through the acquisition of Bulawayo's Sai Enterprises from Raji Modi [1] However in January 2014, Modi, the country operation's managing director bought back a 20% stake in Choppies Zimbabwe.[2]


The first Choppies store was opened in Lobatse in Botswana in 1986. 1993 saw the opening of a second store still in Lobatse. The company embarked on expansion in Botswana that saw it open outlets in all highly populated areas. In 2008, Choppies introduced its footprint into South Africa opening a store in Zeerust North West.

In 2013 Choppies moved into Zimbabwe via the acquisition of some Spar shops.

In 2014 Choppies opened its first distribution centre in South Africa and then later that year a second distribution centre in Zimbabwe.

In June 2018, there were reports of shareholder dispute between Botswana based shareholders and Mphoko in Zimbabwe with the former claiming that Mphoko was only entitled to 7% of Choppies Zimbabwe, while Mphoko claimed that he was entitled to 51% of it.


By July 2014, Choppies had 13 stores, all based in Bulawayo. At that time the company announced, through its chief executive, Ramachandaran Ottapathu that it was investing a total USD $10 million into its Zimbabwean operation in an expansion that would see it open more branches around the country. By July 2014, the company said it had invested USD $21 million during 2014[3]

In November 2014, Choppies opened branches in Harare.

In June 2018, Choppies now had 32 branches across Zimbabwe.

Shareholding dispute for Choppies Zimbabwe

In June 2018, there was shareholding dispute for Choppies Zimbabwe between the Bostwana shareholders and former Zimbabwe vice president Phelekezela Mphoko. Chppies shareholder, the former Botswana president, Festus Mogae, wrote to Mphoko:

My brother, I would like to bring the following facts to your attention: We entered into this partnership with a clear understanding of the shareholding of 93% shares to Choppies Enterprises and 7% to the Mphoko family, free of charge. We signed agreements based on this and even the office of the former president (Robert Mugabe) has got these agreements. You are well aware that I had access to former president, RG Mugabe and I did clear this with him in the presence of former foreign minister (honourable) Simbarashe S Mumbengegwi. I have the same access to the current president as I had with the previous one.[4]

Mphoko insisted that he has 51% shareholding and that he was not a front for indigenisation as claimed.

Choppies Zimbabwe was born after my son, Siqokoqela Mphoko, Tim Mazland, and Ramachanda Mottobat, who are based in Botswana, came to Zimbabwe to enquire how they could set up base in Zimbabwe. They told me their intention was to move the headquarters of Choppies from Botswana to Zimbabwe. At the time, we, my son and I, had established Nanavac Investments and I pledged to help ensure that they could come through and set up these shops on condition that these shops would sell commodities at affordable prices given that the situation then (2013) was not so good. There was some money that these Botswana-based Indians put into the company. We jointly secured a loan of US$20 million from Standard Chartered Bank to finance the set-up and operations of Choppies.[4]

In November 2018, it was reported that a notice had been posted in Choppies supermarkets around Zimbabwe advising employees that Mphoko and his son no longer had any financial or operational say in the business. It was not clear however if they remained shareholders.

Choppies Mphoko Notice to employees


  1. Choppies Confirms Entry Into Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Hot News, Retrieved:10 Dec 2014
  2. Raji Modi buys back 20% stake in Choppies, Bulawayo24, Published:10 Jan 2014, Retrieved:11 Dec 2014
  3. Choppies to invest a further $10 mln in Zim this year, Financial Express, Published:10 July 2014, Retrieved:10 Dec 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mphoko battles to keep Choppies, The Zimbabwe Independent, published: 29 Jun 2018, retrieved: 30 Jun 2018

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