Zimbabwe’s Impala Car Rental is facing numerous challenges in the wake of multiple recent incidents that brought on negative press.
Thomas Dondo, Impala’s CEO, died earlier this year, after finding himself in a legal battle over the kidnapping of a local student, Tawanda Muchehiwa. Dondo reportedly refused to turn over tracking information on the vehicle used in Muchehiwa’s kidnapping. After news of the kidnapping, Impala was met with canceled contracts.
Pressure continues to mount for the African company. The website Bulawayo 24 News reported on August 2 that the organization is also seeing squabbles in the boardroom, with several of its leaders walking away, and “is teetering on the brink of collapse, informed sources say.”
It appears that the rental company is experiencing spooked customers and difficulties paying employees following the recent events.
Additionally, family drama is also at play. Following Dondo’s death, his wife Matirasa Francisca ordered a financial audit of the company, to the dismay of other directors and family members who formed a new company, Legacy Car Rental, taking with them some of Impala’s drivers and customers.
Impala’s Zambia branch has already shuttered its doors, and the rest of the company, now run by Francisca, appears unstable with an uncertain future.
The report from Bulawayo says Impala started in 2007 with Dondo and his late brother Alfred. Impala reports a fleet of over 200 vehicles, with several awards and major contracts under its belt in prior years.