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Zanu PF MP cries for the revival of Zisco Steel

by Stephen Jakes
21 Mar 2017 at 06:02hrs | Views
Zanu PF MP for Mpopoma Pelanda Joseph Tshuma has cried out for the revival of the Zisco Steel with the view that the company used to employ huge number of people and promoted the operations of the National Railways of Zimbabwe which also employed thousands of people in the southern part of the country.

Tshuma made the remarks in Parliament last week  saying the  President (Robert Mugabe)  has been trying to put across to them as a nation of Zimbabwe.

"I want to speak in particular reference to the issue of industries, in particular one industry called ZISCO Steel. The President is on record talking about issues of corruption and people doing a disservice to the nation. I was looking very much and soberly at the issue of ZISCO Steel with the perspective of the chain reaction that ZISCO Steel can actually bring if it can be opened to start working today. Why I say so, I have interests in companies like NRZ, which was headquartered in Bulawayo and used to employ so many people in Bulawayo. I have got interests in Hwange Colliery Company where I grew up, which used to be a vibrant company offering superb services to its people but today everything is gone," he said.

"I was saying to myself  here is a company called ZISCO Steel. If we all had to put our efforts into resuscitating that company, without even looking for foreign help because that is a very pivotal company; if ZISCO Steel starts functioning today, guess what happens? We have got Sable Chemicals which used to supply oxygen to ZISCO Steel. For Sable Chemicals to actually get that oxygen, they were using what we call the water electrolysis plant which requires so much electricity. It is on record that Sable Chemicals used to pay ZESA in advance for its electricity, which made ZESA to be liquid enough to be able to service its importation of electricity from the other regional partners like South Africa and Namibia."

He said now, because ZISCO Steel is no longer working, Sable Chemicals no longer has to produce that oxygen, which means that they no longer require much power from ZESA.

"Therefore, there is a crippling effect to ZESA as well as to the manufacturer of our fertilisers. Let us go away from Sable Chemicals in Kwekwe and go to Hwange Colliery Company. There used to be two express trains that used to leave Hwange coming to Kwekwe. Those trains, I remember passenger trains would actually give way to them. They were taking coke from Hwange everyday to ZISCO Steel. That also guaranteed that Hwange Colliery Company would be functional and have its people well employed and paid on time," Tshuma said.

"While we are at it, for Hwange to transport that coke from Hwange to Kwekwe, NRZ was playing a pivotal role, which means that NRZ was being well paid. So, it was easy to maintain its fleet and pay its workers. Therefore, there was not going to be any need for retrenchment whatsoever. Alas, here we came with our greedy mindsets and started appointing boards that do not even know what they are doing. The whole rot started there. You have a board that does not even have a technical person who knows about locomotives and mining at Hwange Colliery Company. You have a board that is so unclear about what we call corporate governance and then you expect that board to actually hire competent people. How does that happen?"

He said therefore, the people that will be hired in management positions also become useless as much as the board is useless.

"By the way, we are talking about the Presidential Speech whereby the President is saying let us stop corruption. Let us stop shooting ourselves on our own feet. When we have all these perspectives , you begin to wonder if we are all for building this nation or some of us are for filling our pockets but at the expense of who - the nation?  We cannot allow that as this august House because the problem is that if you want to build your own pocket, I do not benefit from that.  So, do not expect me to come here and defend you in your unscrupulous activities that you do that benefit you and your family.  That is why I am saying that as a nation, we need to start moving in a direction whereby we say, let us put Zimbabwe first, as the President wants us to do.  We should not want to just feed our own pockets and families at the expense of the whole nation," he said.

"So, as I was speaking about the ZESA issue, you will now realise that – I remember there was one time when there was a ceremony in Kwekwe.  A budget was made, tents, food and drinks were put aside and we were told that ZISCO is coming to life.  But suddenly - I remember that was during the GNU period and Mr. Welshman Ncube was the Minister of Industry.  What then happened – nothing.  So, what I am saying is that for us as a nation and Members of Parliament here, we should be lobbying for Government to put aside money so that we can go and resuscitate ZISCO Steel on our own, as the Zimbabwean |Government."

He said this can be done without any outside partnership because that is a component with side effects that will change the scope of industry in Zimbabwe.
"I will give you another example, there was Lancashire Steel which used to get by-products from ZISCO Steel and manufactured our harrows, ploughs, axes etcetera.  That was going to feed even into our command agriculture scheme instead of us going to Belarus or Brazil to import those things, we could be doing them here, meaning that we would be creating jobs for our own people.  That is our purpose and why we are here.  We should make sure that we safeguard our people and defend them from unruly elements amongst our society," Tshuma said.

"When you look at that, then you will know that we are playing who is fooling who here.  So, I want to stand up and implore our fellow comrades, brothers and sisters to follow the footsteps of our President.  He wants us to stop corruption and alleviate the suffering of our ordinary people that we represent here.  How do we do that?  We can only do it if we are honest with each other.  Let us tell each other the truth and let us not promote people who want to fatten their pockets at the expense of the whole nation.  That is very treasonous and we cannot allow that.  I want to say that the President did so well but now the question is; what are you and me doing about it?  It should begin from there."

"We cannot say we want to build yet we want to turn a blind eye to evil deeds.  That is not building but destroying."

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Source - Byo24News