Foreign investors interested in Zim steel industry: Bimha

INDUSTRY and Commerce minister Mike Bimha yesterday told Parliament that five companies from China, India and within Africa had expressed an interest in investing in Zimbabwe’s steel manufacturing industry.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Ziscosteel plant
Ziscosteel plant

Addressing members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce, where he had been called to speak on the resuscitation of Ziscosteel, Bimha said Indian firm, Essar Africa Holdings was no longer interested in the comatose steel manufacturer.

“We did everything and tried to engage Essar, but they remained quiet, and the prices of steel and iron also went down and they then said the project will no longer be viable,” he said.

“As a result, we then decided we call it quits with Essar and look for other investors, and we sent a team to do due diligence on five companies from China, India and within Africa that are interested in investing in steel business in Zimbabwe.”

MPs then expressed worry over vandalisation of equipment at Ziscosteel and its subsidiary, Lancashire Steel.

Committee chairperson, Edmond Mhere said during their visit to the companies in Kwekwe and Redcliff, they discovered there were some people involved in illicit sale of scrap metal inside the firms’ premises.

“During our visit to Lancashire Steel, we found that 23,18 tonnes of scrap metal were sold for only $1 980 and it means there is a problem because that is as good as selling maize,” he said.

“When we asked the manager in charge, he denied that there was illicit selling of steel, but the committee suspected that there was vandalism of equipment, which ended up being sold as scrap.”

Bimha said the possibility of plunder and vandalism of equipment was high, given that workers at the two companies have gone unpaid for several months and were no longer committed to securing the assets.

Highfield East legislator, Eric Murai (MDC-T) said when the committee toured Ziscosteel, they found worn out equipment with rust, which he described as “rotten”.

The government has engaged a private property evaluator, Dawn Properties, to compile a comprehensive report on the state of assets at Lancashire Steel plant.

Bimha said they were also considering resuscitating Lancashire Steel and Zimchem because their equipment does not need as much capital, as that needed to resuscitate Ziscosteel.

He said Zimchem will be useful for the supply of road construction materials for the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Highway.

7 Comments

  1. the investor should just come with all new equipment because that place is now a ruin. dongo zvaro. i dont think that there is anything to savage there worth a million.

  2. Why would they want to invest here, i have been here, it is all just scrap steel

  3. Zvakaoma ndokunonzi kusiya waPONDA nyika. God have mercy upon us Blacks, we dont care about the future of the nation. We are greedy, looters, selfish, corrupt and we only think of today and not tomorrow. THATS THE REASON WE ARE DIFFERENT FROM WHITE PEOPLE.

  4. Why should government be involved in the running such big companies. The government itself is a failure as evidenced by economic decline and the government’s failure to pay salaries on time. In addition to that , government has failed to pay civil servants their annual bonuses.

  5. We are all supposed to have forgotten who killed ZISCO and who frustrated a seriously committed ESSAR

  6. What is the difference between WISHFUL THINKING and DAY DREAMING?

  7. who killed the elephant(zisco)BIMHA?

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