Ex-Zisco workers eager for Debt Assumption Bill

Ex-Zisco workers eager for Debt Assumption Bill
Published: 29 March 2018
Hundreds of people the majority of them, laid off Ziscosteel employees, yesterday thronged Kwekwe Theatre and Ziscosteel club in Redcliff where they rallied behind Government's proposed take-over of the giant steel company's $495 million debt to pave way for its resuscitation.

Making contributions during public hearings on Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company Debt Assumption Bill, 2018 that were being conducted by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development, Kwekwe and Redcliff residents said they were eagerly waiting for the resuscitation of the steel company and wished the debt assumption bill could be fast-tracked.

They said Kwekwe City and Redcliff town were the most affected when the company closed and its resuscitation would see them ticking again.

So emotional were the two public hearings that even mothers carrying children on their backs could be seen making contributions.

"We are happy that Government is making an effort to resuscitate the company, we wish this could be fast-tacked.

"We are struggling as people of Redcliff because Ziscosteel is not operational. We rely on this company, please help us," said one of the attendees.

Another contributor, Mr Brighton Svikiro a Ziscosteel pensioner said Government should assume the Ziscosteel debt as no investor would be interested in taking over a company riddled with debts.

He said company was the backbone of the two Midlands cities of Kwekwe and Redcliff and its resuscitation would bring back the glory days to the two.

"I think this should have been done long back because Ziscosteel is a very important company for the nation.

"Government was a bit to blame for the closure of the company and should carry the burden," he said.

Chairperson of the committee, David Chapfika said if the public agrees with the bill, the whole process was expected to be complete in three months.

"If the people agree as they seem to be doing and if it sails through Parliament and Senate, then three months is a lot of time to have the whole process for the takeover to be completed.

The President will have to ascent and the investors will then take over.

He said if the proposal was turned down, borrowing powers might be granted to the Central bank to ensure that the debt was cleared to pave way for the new investor to come in.

Government gazetted the Zisco Debt Assumption Bill, 2018 in January and seeks to assume the $495 million that the company owes its creditors.

This would pave way for the new investor, a Hong Kong based company, R and F, which has shown interest in the company, to take over the steel giant.
- newsday
Tags: Zisco,


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