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MP says you do not need economists to tell you the importance of reviving ZISCO, you just need common sense

I think these are areas which Government must seriously look at. If Government does not have money, it is very simple if you want to capacitate production. Charge these Chinese companies import tax for bringing in foreign products even if it means one percent but by the volumes of commodities that they bring in the one percent will translate to a lot of millions per month. We take those millions and give Dunlop a loan, Government will not have lost anything and we do not need to look for that money. The people importing will be charged to support the local industries and we do the same to several industries, I am sure our problems will be gone.

There is the issue of ZISCO Steel Madam Speaker. The President went to ZISCO and we accompanied him. It was open, there was a lot of funfair and we celebrated, but up to now ZISCO Steel is still closed and yet if ZISCO was opened today, half of Zimbabwe’s problems would be solved – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – 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.

I am one person Madam Speaker that does not believe that this issue of bond notes will ever solve our problems. I was talking to the Speaker quietly that if bond notes will solve our problems, I am betting with a beast to come and get it from my home because there is no such thing. That policy does not work and I think all Government economists advise the Government. To imagine that all the intelligent people in Government could sit down and think of bond notes as a solution to our problems, you really do not understand and say may be people are no longer taking time or they have no interest of this country at heart.

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