The Herald (Harare)

12 April 2014

Zimbabwe: New Zimsteel to Resume Ops

The resumption of full production at New Zimsteel should start by mid-year when Government is expected to have sealed loose ends on the Essar deal that it signed with the Indian firm, Parliament heard.Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Chiratidzo Mabuwa said a lot of work and discussions were on going and in the next few weeks people would begin to see "concrete evidence of progress."

Deputy Minister Mabuwa said this in Senate while responding to a question from Manicaland Senator Mr Patrick Chitaka (MDC-T) who wanted her to give a specific time frame when operations should be expected to resume at the Redcliff based steel firm.

She told the Upper House that while giving specific dates was problematic, Government was certain that conclusion of loose ends would have been made by June this year.

"If I were talking to senators on their own, I would come up with specific dates but for us to now start quoting dates in the media, it becomes a little bit suicidal in case that plane does not land with Mr X with whom we anticipate that in the next few days, as I have said, we are anticipating closure," said Deputy Minister Mabuwa.

"But you can take it from me that it will not be in the next year or will it be in the second half of the year. We intend the closure to be within the first half of this year."

Sen Chitaka said it had been a long time since the nation had been given assurances that operations would resume but nothing had materialised.

"Madam President, let me tell this Senate that in the next few days, there will be concrete evidence of the progress because we are going towards the conclusion of the initial stages of the revival of Zisco through Essar.

"That will also be the second stage whereby production will also have started. The third phase should be introduced soon and we will also be happy to see that Ziscosteel has regained its performance because we will have realised reasonable production."

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