BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
PARLIAMENT has urged Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to urgently release funds to the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ) to support struggling steel companies in the Midlands province and other parts of the country.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce Sonny Mguni (Bubi MP) said this on Tuesday while contributing to debate on the report on a fact-finding visit to Sable Chemicals, Lancashire Steel and ZiscoSteel in Kwekwe.
“The Finance and Economic Development ministry should timeously disburse the budgeted industrial funds to the IDCZ for forward lending so as to circumvent erosion of the value of the fund through inflation in particular and for it to contribute substantially to the re-industrialisation of the Zimbabwean economy in general,” Mguni said.
“Hence, Treasury should make sure that by August 2022, all the budgeted funds for industrialisation are released to the IDCZ.”
Early in April, Industry minister Sekai Nzenza said the now defunct ZiscoSteel would resume operations in 12 months after government claimed its revival was one of its priorities.
Nzenza made the disclosure while meeting ZiscoSteel’s new partner, Kuvimba Mining House, which is said to have made an initial capital injection of US$300 million to kick-start the revival of Zisco.
Mguni also urged the Ministry of Energy and Power Development to engage the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company to lower electricity rates on Dorowa Mine from 60% to at least 40% so as to improve the viability of the Chemplex Group.
“Around 70% of products produced by the group are consumed locally whereas payments are made in local currency. The government, through the of Mines and Mining Development ministry by November 31, 2022, should enact a Statutory Instrument that bans the importation of phosphate which is produced in abundance at Dorowa Mine,” Mguni said.