Gweru (New Ziana) – People in the Midlands province have hailed the Second Republic’s move to resuscitate the Redcliff giant steel manufacturing company, Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel).
Government this week engaged Kuvimba Mining House as the investment partner for the resuscitation of Ziscosteel, which collapsed in 2008 under a weight of massive debts, antiquated machinery, among other challenges.
Kuvimba Mining House which is a reputable player in the mining and metals sector, beat eight other investors to land the Zisco deal, in which government has a controlling 65 percent stake.
Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) economic thematic committee chairperson Trust Chikohora said the coming on board of a local investor Kuvimba Mining House, is a welcome development which will benefit a lot of downstream industries, thereby creating thousands of jobs across the country.
“A lot of downstream industries in the Midlands province and indeed in the whole country can benefit from a functional Ziscosteel. The whole town of Redcliff was built on Zisco. I must say that this is a very important development,” said Chikohora.
He hoped that the Kuvimba Mining House deal will come to fruition unlike previous deals which involved Indian and Chinese companies.
“What is important is implementation. Implementation is key. We are tired of announcement of deals which do not come up to fruition, especially when it comes to Zisco. This time let us see implementation, let us see Zisco working again.
“We want to move forward and we hope this time it will be like that. Implementation is key, all stakeholders involved need to implement this properly. The nation is waiting,” said Chikohora.
Redcliff Mayor, Councilor Clayton Masiyatsva echoed Chikohora’s sentiments that the implementation of the deal was key to the resuscitation of Ziscosteel and will benefit the Redcliff community which has been facing a lot of challenges due to the closure of the steel making company.
Former workers were happy with the latest development and hoped that they will get their jobs back and their outstanding earnings.
“We have been waiting for this good news for more than a decade now. Most of us are not working. I hope the management will give us first preference because we have the experience of running the steel plant.
“We also have our children who are graduates but have nothing to do. I am just praying that they will also be employed,” said a former worker who identified himself as Mr. Banda from Torwood high density suburb.
Another former worker said: “When Zisco collapsed in 2008, we did not get our full benefits and the issue of our pension is still outstanding. We hope that the new investor will address some of our grievances.”