Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa will meet Essar Holdings executives this week to resolve hurdles delaying the resuscitation of Zisco. Speaking at the official launch of the campaign for Zanu-PF candidate for Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency parliamentary by-elections, Cde Auxilia Mnangagwa at Bob-Swift in Kwekwe on Saturday, VP Mnangagwa said the meeting was aimed at strategising on the way forward and to employ a holistic approach in the revival of Zisco.
VP Mnangagwa said Ministers of Industry and Commerce; Mining and Mining Development; Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development; Energy and Power Development and Environment, Water and Climate would also attend the meeting.
“We want to see what’s stopping New Zimsteel from operating when we’ve finalised the deal. Essar has been convening meetings with the relevant ministries individually which has seen the delay in its reopening because there was no collective strategies for the revival of Zisco,” he said.
VP Mnangagwa said any minister who failed to honour their commitment or meet their obligations would be put to task.
“We want to do this in a space of a week and seal the deal once and for all. We want each minister to recommit themselves to the agreement which was made between government and Essar Holdings.
“We want to see who is dragging their feet and who is failing to honour their commitment. New Zimsteel is one of the strategic projects aimed at reviving the economy,” he said.
The government rekindled hopes for the revival of Zisco which was once the biggest integrated steelworks in Africa north of the Limpopo, when it sold 54 percent of its shares in Zisco to Essar in a $750 million deal which included taking over Zisco’s debts and liabilities.
Ziscosteel ceased operations in 2008 as it choked under $340m debt and other viability problems and Essar Holdings came to its rescue.
The Essar deal was expected to bring back life to Redcliff while at the same time uplifting the well-being of its workers.
However, the reopening of the giant steel company has taken too long and workers have now lost hope.