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What the revival of ZISCO could mean to Zimbabwe

The revival of the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company in Redcliff could bring back to life three major state-enterprises which have become a drain to the national fiscus – the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Hwange Colliery and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.

Mpopoma-Pelandaba Member of Parliament Joseph Tshuma said it was therefore essential that the government should look for money to revive ZISCO instead of waiting for foreign investors.

“If ZISCO Steel starts functioning today, guess what happens? We have got Sable Chemicals which used to supply oxygen to ZISCO Steel. For Sable Chemicals to actually get that oxygen, they were using what we call the water electrolysis plant which requires so much electricity.,” Tshuma said.

“It is on record that Sable Chemicals used to pay ZESA in advance for its electricity, which made ZESA to be liquid enough to be able to service its importation of electricity from the other regional partners like South Africa and Namibia…..

“Let us go away from Sable Chemicals in Kwekwe and go to Hwange Colliery Company. There used to be two express trains that used to leave Hwange coming to Kwekwe.

“Those trains, I remember passenger trains would actually give way to them. They were taking coke from Hwange everyday to ZISCO Steel. That also guaranteed that Hwange Colliery Company would be functional and have its people well employed and paid on time.

“While we are at it, for Hwange to transport that coke from Hwange to Kwekwe, NRZ was playing a pivotal role, which means that NRZ was being well paid. So, it was easy to maintain its fleet and pay its workers. Therefore, there was not going to be any need for retrenchment whatsoever.

“Alas, here we came with our greedy mindsets and started appointing boards that do not even know what they are doing. The whole rot started there. You have a board that does not even have a technical person who knows about locomotives and mining at Hwange Colliery Company.

“You have a board that is so unclear about what we call corporate governance and then you expect that board to actually hire competent people. How does that happen? Therefore, the people that will be hired in management positions also become useless as much as the board is useless.”

Opposition legislator Joel Gabbuza argued two years ago that if ZISCO was revived, half of Zimbabwe’s problems would be solved.

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