HomeNewsGovt to roll out parastatal reforms

Govt to roll out parastatal reforms

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THE government has come up with a timeline for the restructuring and disposal of shareholding in some State enterprises and parastatals beginning with the unbundling of Zesa Holdings at the end of the month.

Report by Tarisai Mandizha

Restructuring of loss-making State-owned enterprises has taken longer than expected due to reports of discord in the inclusive government over the implementation of the policy.

The entities to be realigned include the Agriculture Development Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Power Company, Agricultural Rural Development Authority, Air Zimbabwe, Grain Marketing Board (GMB), Zimre, POSB, Zimbabwe Grain Bag, Allied Timbers, NetOne, TelOne and National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ).

The country has 78 parastatals that are making huge losses.

According to an action plan presented to Parliament this week by State Enterprises Restructuring Agency (Sera) executive director Edgar Nyoni, the unbundling of Zesa as part of power reforms should be implemented between January and December this year.

Under the plan, Zesa would be dissolved paving way for the formation of the State-owned National Grid Service Company and unbundling the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company into separate transmission and distribution entities and transferring the transmission further to the National Grid Services Company.

In order to turn around the fortunes of the debt-ridden Air Zimbabwe, Sera said there was need to finalise modalities for debt assumption by government.

The Air Zimbabwe debt has since ballooned to $188 million.

Financial advisers would be engaged so as to come up with recommendations.

It is anticipated that a strategic partner for the airline would be scouted for between June 2013 and 2014 next year.

The GMB has until August this year to undertake a financial, legal and regulatory due diligence, isolate contractual obligations still binding the current entity and establish whether these could be terminated or assigned to either of ensuing entities and come up with the names of the new entities.

It is also expected to come up with proposals for the management structure, resolve labour issues such as identification of staff to be transferred and retrenched, and secure a strategic partner for the commercial entity.

However, Sera is still working with NetOne, Tel One and NRZ and their line ministries to prepare initial restructuring plans. It is anticipated that strategic partners should be in place by June this year.

In 2011 the government approved the State Enterprises and Parastatals Management Bill and the State Enterprises Restructuring Agency Bill that were expected to improve the efficiency of parastatals.

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