Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
GOVERNMENT will soon carry out a forensic audit at the defunct steel giant, Ziscosteel, to quantify and ascertain the losses at the company, acting Ziscosteel board chairperson, Engineer Martin Manhuwa, has said.
In an interview, Eng Manhuwa said an asset performance management system was being put in place at the company as part of the short-term stabilisation interventions. The move comes at a time when looting and syndicated theft of assets had become rampant at the company, which ceased operations almost a decade ago. With regards to debt, Eng Manhuwa said clarity was being sought as to the exact status of the debt incurred by Zisco.
“The debt was taken over by Government under the Debt Assumption Bill (2017) but still remains on the Zisco balance sheet,” he said.
“The short and long of it is that we are carrying out a forensic audit within this quarter to quantify and ascertain the losses. We have beefed up security and we are now seized with an asset inventory management system that will assist us to start the bankable feasibility study.
“This will inform the Zisco information memorandum that will give investors a term sheet,” said Eng Manhuwa.
He, however, said a recent survey revealed that while most of the assets were stolen, there were some that were sold above board to raise funds to revive subsidiaries.
“Waste products like furnace slag and metal scrap that were sold were above board and based on a board resolution. There was, however, theft of copper cables and metal scrap as well as vandalisation of some metal structures,” he said.
Eng Manhuwa said Zisco had since increased cooperation between itself and national security agencies to assist in protecting its property.
Government is still locked in talks with Hong-Kong based company R and F with hopes that the largest iron and steel manufacturing company in the region will be revived.