29 November 2018

Zimbabwe: Buyanga Backs Zimbabwe Parastatal Reforms

Johannesburg — SOUTH African-based businessman, Frank Buyanga, has welcomed moves by the Zimbabwe government to reform parastatals, saying this would curb corruption, attract investments and create employment.

The multi-million dollar businessman's sentiments came after Zimbabwe on Tuesday announced a reform programme on 43 public enterprises.

"This is a listening government," Buyanga said.

"I strongly feel that the government should come up with additional strategies to curb corruption, improve capacity utilisation and instill a culture of accountability within all government parastatals as well as any companies that government has a shareholding."

Buyanga said mismanagement in state-controlled firms was the major reason behind high unemployment, a severe deterioration of public infrastructure, a rising informal sector, diminishing public confidence in government and an exodus of Zimbabweans to other countries.

This week, Zimbabwe said it was considering submissions on Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO) and Chemplex Corporation.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet press briefing on Tuesday, actin minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mangaliso Ndlovu, said an investor responsible for the revival of the steelworks company was expected in the country next month.

"The investor is coming in the country to assess work on the ground at ZISCO because work is expected to start in January," Ndlovu said.

It is believed Chinese entrepreneur, Zhang Li, had offered a $1 billion (R13.7billion) investment to revive the steelworks company which employed about 5 000 workers at its peak and has not been fully operational in the past decade.

The company is riddled in a $400 million (R5.5 billion) debt.

Chemplex, a fertilizer and chemicals manufacturing company will be partially be privatized as government moves to dispose of non-performing public enterprises.

Buyanga has been a proponent of reforms since 2016, when he wrote to former president, Robert Mugabe, urging him to pay attention to the scourge of corruption that was eroding the value of the state-owned companies.

"Dossiers and reports have proved massive misappropriation of resources across the commercial divide and this inevitably has a direct impact on the welfare of the Zimbabwean people," he wrote a letter to Innocent Tizora, director of State residences in the Office of the President and Cabinet.

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