Govt reforms motor industry

Tendai Mugabe Senior Herald Reporter
GOVERNMENT’s stake in the Willowvale Motor Industries and Deven Engineering will be reduced to not less than 26 percent as it implements the Public Enterprises Reform Programme through the restructuring proposal of six Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) subsidiaries as espoused by the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).

Under the TSP, Government will reduce expenditure by scaling down on unsustainable fiscal intervention in public enterprises and parastatals.

As part of the reform of State-owned enterprises, Government will partially privatise certain entities through engagement of strategic partners and/or listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and the programme identifies Willowvale Motor Industries and Deven Engineering as some of them.

This came out of the 17th Cabinet meeting yesterday held at Munhumutapa Government Offices in Harare.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Acting Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza said Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube presented a proposal to Cabinet with regards to the restructuring of the six IDC subsidiaries.

“Cabinet approved resumption of the IDCZ development financing role, that IDCZ lending function as a Development Financial Institution be revived and that the $30 million allocated in the 2019 National Budget as seed capital be immediately released in full to the Industrial Development Fund,” said Dr Nzenza.

On Zimglass debt, she said Cabinet approved that Government undertakes market interventions to address the $15, 3 million secured loan in a manner that protects IDCZ assets and that IDCZ utilises its land holdings as security in that regard.

She said there was also a discussion on Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries and Deven Engineering where Cabinet approved the dilution of IDCZ to not less than 26 percent and to support the Zimbabwe Motor Industry Development Policy (2018-2030) by requiring that Government procures the bulk of its motor vehicle requirements from local assemblers.

Minister Nzenza also told journalists that Cabinet had resolved to amend the Private Voluntary Organisations Act (Chapter 17:05) to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force for combating money laundering and financing of terrorism.

Precisely, the amendment seeks to ensure that PVOs in Zimbabwe are not used as conduits for money laundering and funding terrorist activities.

She said: “Cabinet received a presentation from the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare to amend the Private Voluntary Organisations Act (Chapter17: 05) in order to render it complaint with the requirements of the Financial Task Force on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism by individuals and organisations.

“More specifically, the amendment seeks to ensure that PVOs in Zimbabwe are not used as conduits for money laundering and funding of terrorist activities, while seeking to bring about efficiency in the registration and regulation of the same. Key provisions of the principles include that at registration of a Private Voluntary Organisation, all essential information regarding the beneficial ownership and interest in a PVO be disclosed to the authorities, that where the beneficial ownership and the interest is not disclosed, registration be declined.

“That it be a criminal offence to falsify information on the beneficial ownership and interest of the PVO and where such registration had been made earlier without disclosure, it be deemed null and void. Cabinet approved the principles and directed the minister to issue instructions for the drafting of the actual Bill.”

On the dry spell that had been experienced throughout the country, Dr Nzenza said: “Cabinet expressed concern over the prospects of the 2018-2019 agricultural season in light of the prolonged dry spell being experienced in the country. Cabinet accordingly directed the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement to urgently institute a crop and livestock assessment exercise in order to guide efforts to alleviate the situation.”

Dr Nzenza said Cabinet also received an update from Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando on the establishment of the Stainless Steel Plant in Mvuma. She said the project focused on the export of raw iron ore and value addition of ore to stainless steel.

Dr Nzenza said the project also involved upgrading or rail infrastructure. “Ramping up of ferrochrome production to achieve the required output is already in progress,” said Dr Nzenza.

“Construction of a coke oven battery to feed the stainless steel will commence in the second half of this year. Cabinet noted the minister’s presentation and agreed with the need for Government to support the investment initiative.”