Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is scheduled to tour troubled industries in Kwekwe and Redcliff before addressing a campaign rally at Torwood Stadium on Sunday.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jameson Timba, confirmed the scheduled tour yesterday.
“The Premier will be in Kwekwe to tour industries and that will culminate in a rally at Mbizo Stadium on July 31,” said Timba.
He, however, declined to disclose which industries Tsvangirai would visit, but sources indicated financially-strangled Ziscosteel was on the MDC-T leader’s itinerary.
Meanwhile, the proposed tour has ignited an electric atmosphere in the mining towns following reports the visits would coincide with the finalisation of the Ziscosteel-Essar Africa Holdings deal to pave way for the reopening of the giant steel company.
But, Timba said: “About the Ziscosteel deal, I am not yet aware of that.”
Ziscosteel workers’ committee chairperson Edward Nyirongo said workers were optimistic the proposed tour would break several months of uncertainty and speculation about their company’s future.
“We are happy with this latest development. What this obviously means is there is going to be a payment plan of outstanding and current salaries, production will also have to start because we now know that the company has an owner,” he said.
Yesterday, workers were reportedly putting final touches to Torwood Stadium.
Recently, Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube disclosed the government had set a new deadline of August 1 for the official handover of Ziscosteel to Essar Africa Holdings.
Essar has committed over $740 million towards reviving Ziscosteel, which has not been operating for close to 10 years.
Essar Africa Holdings has offered to inherit Ziscosteel’s estimated $340 million debt and salary-related arrears amounting to $22 million.