ZIMBABWE is importing $400 million worth of steel annually, bleeding the country of foreign currency, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya has said.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Speaking at the unveiling and showcasing of the Business Incubation Unit in Mutare on Sunday, which will result in the coal to liquids conversion, Mangudya said it was unfortunate that Zimbabwe was importing steel when it has a steel plant.
“The government has worked hard to clean the balance sheet of Ziscosteel, we all know that Kwekwe was built by Ziscosteel and Zimasco. We want Ziscosteel to start on clean slate so that the debts will not suffocate the business, we are importing $400 million of steel, yet we have our own steel plant,’’ he said.
“We need to go beyond engineering designs to the economics of doing business. The $2,6 million you are asking for the project is doable provided it’s commercially viable. We are a small economy with only 14 million people and some are in the Diaspora.”
Mangudya said the economy was on the rise and that agriculture should be used to transform the struggling country.
“We need to transform the economy, we are the masters of our destiny, Zimbabwe is picking up as a country, I said that to some analyst last week that l am seeing people, who are knowing what they are doing. This time last year, there was a serious drought, but six months down the line, we are harvesting, a bumper harvest,’’ he said.
“We need to transform the economy using agriculture as a base, lets rise and build the country through various aspects.’’
Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) vice-chancellor Quinton Kanhukamwe said the university has a unique national mandate of developing, incubating, transferring and commercialising technology for rapid industrialisation.
“Verify Engineering is currently seized with the task of designing, constructing and commissioning a pilot plant of coal/coal bed methane to liquid fuel using the already existing Fischer Tropsch Technology as a precursor to the designing, erection and commissioning of an eight million litres of liquid per day commercial plant,” he said.
The meeting held at Feruka plant was also attended by Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology minister Jonathan Moyo and several vice chancellors from the country’s universities.
The unit is run by HIT.