Binga South Member of Parliament Joel Gabbuza says one does not need economists to explain the importance of reviving the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company. One just needs common sense.
ZISO has been closed for almost a decade though there was at one time a big fanfare after an Indian company Essar said it was going to revive operations.
This year a Chinese company said it would revive the company but nothing has happened so far.
Gabbuza said half of Zimbabwe’s problems would be solved if ZISCO is revived.
“ZISCO will definitely capacitate Hwange because all the coking coal from Hwange will go to ZISCO. Coke from Hwange will go to ZISCO and when coke comes from Hwange to ZISCO, it comes by train. Definitely, the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) will come up because they will now benefit.
“If ZISCO increases up in the production of steel, there is a lot of oxygen that is used. That is why we had Sable Chemicals which manufactures fertilizer. Sable Chemicals, in the production of fertilizers produced a lot of oxygen which was then sold at a low rate to ZISCO.
“In turn, the production of fertilizer because you are now selling free oxygen, it makes the price of fertilizer go down and that helps our farmers. In the production of fertilizer at Sables itself, there is a lot of hydrogen released and that is why we had nearby, Dyno Nobel which produced a lot of explosives for mines next to ZISCO there.
“So, the mining sector will also benefit from that because if you ask many people in the mining industry, they are importing explosives from China and many other places. There are so many restrictions in buying explosives to the extent that some of the explosives they are buying are from the black market and that is not helping anyone. So, there are these basic things that we do not seem to appreciate as a Government.
“Sometimes Madam Speaker, I believe that perhaps one of our major problems is the flight of skilled manpower in the Civil Service because these are basic things that they must advise Ministers so that they are implemented. If you ask me how much is needed for the resuscitation of ZISCO, it is not money that we may get from the investors. We could do it locally as a country because we have many other areas where we could do savings and gradually capacitate ZISCO.
“ZISCO would also help in the resuscitation of the industry. I was driving along Mvuma road the other day. I counted up to one hundred and five thirty tone trucks, magonyeti, carrying steel from South Africa. How much foreign currency are we losing importing all that kind of steel?
“These are basic things that do not need even an economist to think about. You just need common sense to implement such things.”
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