New parastatals on cards, restructuring continues

The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
GOVERNMENT will continue to restructure and partially privatise parastatals including establishing new ones in order to buttress the ongoing economic transformation drive in line with Vision 2030.

Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, said this on the sidelines of the inaugural Zimbabwe Economic Development Conference (ZEDCON), which ended here on Friday.

The ministry hosted the high-level event, which was officially opened by President Mnangagwa.

The minister said Government is pursuing a partial privatisation model where some of the parastatals will be jointly owned.

While commercialisation of existing State entities has been an ongoing process, Prof Ncube said new parastatals will be created especially in the mining sector where the Government is partnering foreign private investors.

He was responding to concerns raised by participants at the conference who implored the Government to speed up the process as the State entities were a burden to tax payers.

Prof Ncube said the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down the process but the Government was now back on track as it seeks to achieve President Mnangagwa’s dream of transforming Zimbabwe into an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

President Mnangagwa

“The programme for the partial privatisation of State enterprises took a slow route especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, which consumed a lot of time in Government but I believe now we are back in business in terms of pushing that agenda,” said the minister.

“In terms of privatisation, you will be hearing some announcements going forward on restructuring some of the State enterprises but you would agree with me that some restructuring has gone very well with an example of Air Zimbabwe.”

Prof Ncube said the Government was now pursuing the restructuring of the National Railways of Zimbabwe, among others. He said there is no targeted number of the parastatals to be restructured.

Among those earmarked for the privatisation programme are Zimpost, NetOne, TelOne, Telecel and the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB).

People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB)

“We will also be creating new State-owned enterprises especially in the mining sector where we will be doing a lot of ventures with external partners who are investing in the sector,” said Prof Ncube.

“We are partially privatising some of the older ones that need change but we are creating new ones. We don’t have a specific target number as they already exist and we flag the ones we are targeting.”

Prof Ncube is on record saying the Government was aiming at reaping huge dividend through the privatisation of the State entities, which play a key role in the economy.

In a presentation on the role of institutions in promoting private investment in Zimbabwe earlier at the conference, University of Zimbabwe lecturer and researcher, Dr Tichaona Zivengwa, expressed concern on the delay in commercialising State enterprises.

He said the Government should also consider reducing the size and number of the parastatals.

“The privatisation process of public-owned institutions is needed and we can also consider reducing their size. The process has been slow and they are a huge drain to the fiscus,” he said.

Participants also called for enactment of instruments for fighting corruption so as to maximise contribution of parastatals to the economy.

The conference was held under the theme: “Accelerating Economic Transformation Through Evidence Based Policy Formulation” and was attended by local and foreign researchers, academia, think tanks, industry captains and Government officials. — @ncubeleon

Article Source: The Chronicle

Enjoyed this post? Share it!