New timelines for parastatal privatization, liquidation

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Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube

HARARE – The Zimbabwe government has set  the third quarter of next year as the new timeline for privatization and  liquidation of over 21 state enterprises.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube said in a paper  published ahead of the 2019 budget presentation set for November 22 this  year that nine parastatals were set for privatization, seven for partial  privatization through joint venture or listing on the stock exchange  while five were set for liquidation.

Non-performing parastatals have been identified as a drain on the  fiscus for years but the government had taken long to institute measures  to get them off its books.

According to the paper, telecommunication firms, Tel One, Net One and  Telecel, Zimpost, the Post Office Savings Bank and the Infrastructure  Development Bank of Zimbabwe were due for partial privatization in the  next six months.

Those due for joint ventures in nine months include oil firm Petrotrade  and Road Motor Services as well as 17 subsidiaries of the Zimbabwe  Mining Development Corporation among them Jena, Sabi,  Evington and Alaska Mine.

On the privatization list, targeted to have been completed in nine  months are Allied Timbers, the Zimbabwe Passenger Company and a number  of Industrial Development Corporation subsidiaries among them oil firm  Surface Investments, Zimbabwe Grain Bag, Chemplex Corporation, Deven  Engineering, Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries and G & W Minerals.

Five government entities namely Chitungwiza Garment Factory, National  Glass Industries, Zimglass, Motira and Kingstons Private Limited have  been singled out as beyond redemption and face liquidation in six  months.

The decision to privatize, enter into joint ventures or liquidate  follows a target by Ncube to ensure that the government reduces its  expenditure and try and live within its means.

Over the years, the government has struggled to balance its revenue and  expenditures through providing continuous funding to struggling  enterprises which has created structural problems for the economy.

In the audit report for parastatals for 2017, Auditor General Mildred  Chiri identified over 20 parastatals and state enterprises as facing  collapse due to high indebtedness, poor corporate governance and  corruption. – New Ziana

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