Ziscosteel revival imminent - Govt

HARARE - Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel)'s revival is imminent following the arrival of an Essar Holdings management team from India, a government official has said.

Abigail Shoniwa, permanent secretary in the Industry and Commerce ministry yesterday told a parliamentary committee on Industry and Commerce that an advance team will be in Kwekwe this week to begin negotiations with Ziscosteel staff.

“Essar’s director for Africa arrived in the country yesterday (Monday) and we have an assurance from him that there are others who are coming here as well. The five-member team is heading to Redcliff to negotiate with Ziscosteel management and staff on their salaries and find ways to start operations,” she said.

Shoniwa said her ministry was aware of the plight of Ziscosteel workers who have gone for the past year without getting their salaries.

“I am always in touch with them. I understand the things they are going through as they are constantly telling me of their challenges, sickness and some other things,” she said.

Shoniwa told the committee chaired by William Mutomba that they regretted the delay in resuscitation of operations at Ziscosteel but was now confident that smoke will be billowing a gain at the giant iron and steel company.

“Despite taking long to conclude the discussions, Cabinet has approved everything that was finalised with Essar and we are now waiting for them to start,” she said.

Last week Ziscosteel workers described their living and welfare conditions as pathetic following the closure of their company five years ago.

Appearing before the same parliamentary committee, Ziscosteel workers’ union representatives Benedict Moyo and Obert Shokomhishi blamed the plight of the workers on Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube who they accused of failing to advance the interests of the workers.

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