Industry and Commerce minister Sekai Nzenza has broken silence on reports that she branded the current ZiscoSteel board as a failure in its quest to secure investment for the parastatal for the past six years.
This follows reports that Nzenza expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the ZiscoSteel board of directors.
ZiscoSteel halted operations more than a decade ago and the government has been struggling to get an investor for the steel-producing giant.
The company was eventually taken over by one of the country’s biggest gold producers, Kuvimba Mining House this year.
Speaking to NewsDay, Nzenza described the report as lacking accuracy, adding that the ministry was focusing on bringing technology.
“We are focusing on bringing technology and innovation to ZiscoSteel and the new investor is in discussion with the world-class manufacturer of steel plants. The old plant needed to be replaced and retooling is the key objective as we resuscitate ZiscoSteel.
“The board will continue to fulfil its mandate by overseeing the achievement of the key performance indicators proposed in the management contract, to ensure the success of the resuscitation programme,” Nzenza said.
Zisco chairperson Martin Manuhwa weighed in saying the minister could not contradict herself because she was aware of the developments at the mine.
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“Interesting. When did she say that? The ZiscoSteel board is like any other board. In fact, ZiscoSteel is under care and maintenance until the investor moves in. The search has been done and we identified a management contractor.
“We floated a tender and got nine interested investors and selected one. German and other investment entrepreneurs are still showing interest. The investment drive has gone through all the stages from the expression of interest, request for proposals, adjudication, due diligence, award and contract negotiations which were concluded on September 26, 2022,” Manuhwa said.
According to Manuhwa, the board is now in the mobilisation period where both parties have to meet certain condition precedents to kickstarting the venture.