African Development Bank injects cash into parastatals

Source: African Development Bank injects cash into parastatals | The Sunday Mail February 10, 2019

Sharon Munjenjema

GOVERNMENT has received an additional $4,5 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for performance reviews of seven parastatals to guide the future of the public entities.

This comes as Cabinet recently approved the separation of Grain Marketing Board (GMB) commercial and social divisions; and the re-bundling of ZESA subsidiaries through a $4,6 million facility provided by the AfDB in 2017.

Zimbabwe is in the process of reforming its parastatals, the majority of which had been run down over the years and failed to provide efficient services. The AfDB facility comes as the European Union (EU) and World Bank are also offering technical support in capacitating State enterprises.

In an interview, State Enterprises Restructuring Agency (SERA), senior investment analyst Mr Ernest Mujongondi confirmed the latest funding from AfDB.

“We are working with AfDB to provide additional funding for the performance review of seven parastatals and these are Central Mechanical and Equipment Department (CMED), Agricultural and Rural Development Authority(ARDA), Pig Industry Board, Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA), National Oil Infrastructure Company (NOIC), Industrial Development Co-Operation (IDC) and GMB,” he said.

“These are assessments that will be done and they will inform us on way forward,” he said.

“AfDB has committed to giving us another $4,5 million to cover the second phase and we hope to conclude the engagement in this first quarter so that we seal off and start the second phase.”

Mr Mujongondi said the EU was assisting Government conduct performance reviews for Zimparks, Forestry Commission (FC) and Environmental Management Agency (EMA).

“Zimparks was completed, but the other two (FC and EMA) are still running,” he said.

“The EU has a natural resource programme. Under that facility, all parastatals that have something to do with natural resources qualify for help.”

Mr Mujongondi said although the process of state enterprises restructuring was lengthy, Government was committed to following it through.

“As we implement the SEP’s reforms we are going to be presenting case by case implementation proposals to Cabinet,” he said.

“So far we have submitted for GMB and Zesa and they have been approved.

“Cabinet has made a resolution that at its sittings it will consider about two of our proposals so we expect that at each Cabinet sitting, there will be a proposal.”

Last year, Government announced a raft of parastatal reforms that hinged on dissolution, liquidation, mergers or privatisation. The prescribed processes are at various stages in the different parastatals.

Mr Mujongondi said Petrotrade and Telone were now in the last stages of consultancy procurement, while performance review reports for Allied Timbers, ZMDC, IDBZ, SIRDC, Agribank and Zinara were expected to be submitted soon. Expressions of interest for Netone have not been issued yet.

Although the exact amount of Government’s benefits through the privatisation of parastatals has not been valued yet, budgetary support to State enterprises will be reduced.