SW Radio Africa (London)

Zimbabwe: Zim Deprived of $20 Billion By Ziscosteel Closure

A study has found that Zimbabwe lost over $20 billion in potential revenue since the closure of Ziscosteel six years ago.

The study by the Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit says the mining giant's continued closure is depriving the engineering and metal products sector of over $3 billion in revenue per year.

It said the engineering and metals sector had failed to compete globally for more than five years. The research also found that the government's economic recovery and industrial development policies lacked 'coherent' and 'synchronized' implementing frameworks.

According to a Daily News article the research said the resuscitation of Ziscosteel had the 'potential to turn the trade deficit into gain.'

Ziscosteel shut down in 2008 due to allegations of rampant mismanagement, corruption and obsolete equipment. The Kwekwe-based iron and steel giant has been billed for reopening on many occasions but that has yet to happen. The government claims that the company will finally open this year in a joint operation with the Indian company Essar Africa Holdings which invested about $700 million in 2011.

But the MDC-T Shadow Minister for Mines Abednico Bhebhe said he does not see the company opening anytime soon. He said: 'So many companies are closing and that is because of government policies and Ziscosteel cannot be an exception. Let us not fool ourselves and think that the company will open amid all this chaos.'

Bhebhe said: 'The government has got no clue on how to solve Zimbabwe's economic problems. The deal with the Indian company was done during the inclusive government and since then nothing has been done and things are deteriorating further.'

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