KWEKWE — Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T) has accused Zanu PF and Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere of being directly responsible for the demise of the chrome-smelting giant, Zimasco in Kwekwe.
Report by Blessed Mhlanga Staff Reporter
Chikwinya, a senior employee at the company which has shut down two of its furnaces, forcing most of its 3 000-strong workforce to be on half salary, blamed the company’s woes on the indigenisation policy championed by President Robert Mugabe and superintended by Kasukuwere.
The law compels foreign-owned companies to cede 51% shareholding to locals.
Addressing a rally in Kwekwe’s Mbizo township at the weekend, Chikwinya said Zimasco’s majority shareholder — Sinosteel — had bought 72% of the company on the strength of guarantees that Chinese banks would bankroll its operations.
“But because of this Act, these banks have now refused to fund Sinosteel operations in Zimbabwe resulting in a serious liquidity crisis hitting the operations of the company. Today the company is struggling to pay workers and suppliers because of this crunch caused by Zanu PF,” said Chikwinya.
Zimasco had started work on rebuilding a $30 million dollar furnace which was gutted down by fire some years ago, but work was stopped and production scaled down. Chikwinya said his constituency had been turned into a home of loafers by a Zanu PF regime which had a legacy of destroying industry.
“They have forced Sable Chemicals out of business, refused to see the resuscitation of Ziscosteel, shut down Lancashire Steel and now we have Zimasco on the brink of collapse and these are the companies which have been employing people from Mbizo constituency,” said Chikwinya.