ZISCOsteel will breathe new economic lease of life into the Midlands Province with the chosen investor, Kuvimba Mining planning to inject US$460 million into the venture, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said today.
He said ZISCOsteel, in which the government had majority shareholding, collapsed 20 years ago due to Western sanctions.
“We have ZISCO which has gone over 20 years without operating. During its peak, ZISCO used to employ about 7 000 workers and supported downstream industries. It supplied iron and steel to the entire region including East Africa, including countries overseas. It was the backbone of industrialisation.
“When we got independence as ZANU-PF, the whites were not happy and they started to sabotage ZISCO for 20 years until it collapsed,” said the ZANU-PF first secretary.
ZISCOsteel, he said, is owned 89 percent by government and 11 percent by other stakeholders.
Mnangagwa said the Second Republic resolved to give a tender to a local company, Kuvimba Mining at the expense of foreign companies.
“Now we have said the country can be built by its own people. We used to have foreign companies to run local companies. …a company with 65 percent owned by government called Kuvimba Mining won the tender and we are now giving it to revive ZISCO. We now have the US$460 million and we will see ZISCO being resuscitated and Kwekwe will also develop through creation of employment.”
Mnangagwa said another US$1 billion steel plant was being established at Manize near Chivhu.
“There is the biggest deposit of steel ore in Southern Africa there. Currently, we have over 32 billion metric tonnes of ore in Manize.”
Mnangagwa said after the setting up of the company, it will create over 6 000 jobs.
“It’s an investment of over US$1 billion … and within a year or so we shall have over 6000 people employed. There will be a new town like Kwekwe. This is the Second Republic progressing while building the country,” said the ZANU-PF first secretary.
In the mining sector, Zimbabwe is aiming to have a $12 billion industry by 2023.
“Three years ago when the Second Republic came into power, it was only $2 billion, we now have about $6 billion. With the programmes we have in place by next year, the mining sector will be at $12 billion,” Mnangagwa said.
Mnangagwa said the country will continue to progress despite the Western sanctions.
He said Zimbabwe will continue with its engagement and re-engagement initiatives in order to attract foreign investors.
“Zimbabwe is open for business. Zimbabwe is a friend to everyone and enemy to none … we want everybody, every nation and very country to be a friend…
“We have done economic reforms and electoral reforms in order to be able to attract global capital to come to Zimbabwe. We have made fundamental economic reforms so that investors can feel comfortable to inject their money into Zimbabwe and after investing on a win-win basis, they are able to take it out. All those we have done,” he said.
He said Zimbabwe will continue to improve the economic environment to attract more investment into the country.
He retaliated that there will be no reverse in the land reform programme.- New Ziana