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Cabinet approves $350 million Ziscosteel deal



Ziscosteel Zimbabwe

GOVERNMENT yesterday approved the $350 million investment deal in which ZimCoke (Pvt) Ltd will revitalise the coke plant within Ziscosteel, creating more than 800 jobs in the process.

Of the $350 million, $133 million will be capital injection while $225 million will cover the debt owed by Ziscosteel to Germany bank, KFW.

This will give ZimCoke full ownership of the coking plant. At full tilt, the project is expected to produce 500 000 tonnes of coke annually, for both local use and export markets.

Government’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) targets re-opening of closed mines, expansion of those that are operating below capacity and opening of new ones.

Briefing journalists after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the deal, whose agreement was signed in 2017, had been given the nod.

“Following a presentation by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Cabinet approved the operationalisation of the agreement between Ziscosteel and ZimCoke (Pvt) Ltd,” she said.

“The agreement entails the revival and running of the coke oven batteries, which have not been operating since 2008. At full production, ZimCoke will manufacture half a million tonnes of coke in a year. The project also involves rehabilitation of Redcliff Water Supply infrastructure, production of tar and pitch for road making as well as the refurbishment of locomotives and wagons.”

Expanding on the deal, Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said it will bring life to the town of Redcliff.

“The agreement has to do with Zim Coke running the coke oven batteries that are at Ziscosteel and this will entail the processing of coking coal for the purposes of exporting coke therefrom,” he said.

“This is an agreement that was signed in 2017 but needed fine tuning and we have gone through that. All issues that needed to be cleared have been cleared.”

On the amount of money involved, Minister Ndlovu said: “It’s an investment that will be worth $133 million in capital injection but it also involves ZimCoke taking over the Ziscosteel debt to Germany company, KFW of $225 million. All in all, it’s an investment worth more than $350 million, which we expect to create not less than 800 jobs and really bring more life to the town of Redcliff. They will be also be involved in improving the water system in the town.”

Meanwhile, Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet had received an update from the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on the ongoing recovery programme with respect to the Cyclone Idai disaster. “The Minister informed the Cabinet that progress continues to be registered in regard to the opening of access routes to affected areas and the distribution of relief assistance,” she said.

“The statistics on lives lost so far stand at 344, inclusive of those buried in Mozambique. Out of the 347 persons reported as missing, 206 names have been provided with the help of the surviving relatives and neighbours, leaving a balance of 141 unnamed persons still missing. A total of 79 relatives have provided samples for DNA testing. The assessment of the cost of the damaged school infrastructure has been completed in all districts.”

She added: “Following His Excellency the President’s meeting last week with the private sector, various offers of assistance continue to be received for the construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure as well as re-integration of pupils affected by the disaster into the education system.

“Special emphasis is on the rehabilitation and reconstruction of schools so as to ensure the expeditious resumption of learning in the affected areas, Cabinet was informed that work has already started with respect to spatial planning and eventual relocation of some affected communities. A programme is also underway to spearhead the recovery of destroyed businesses through a Government-sponsored financing facility.”The Chronicle

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African Union’s Inclusion in G20: A Significant Acknowledgment of a Continent with 1 Billion Inhabitants




The world’s most powerful economies, the G20, have welcomed the African Union (AU) as a permanent member, recognising Africa’s more than 50 countries as important players on the global stage. US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi both expressed support for the AU’s permanent membership.

The AU has advocated for full membership for seven years and, until now, South Africa was the only African country in the G20. The AU represents a continent with a young population of 1.3 billion, which is set to double by 2050 and make up a quarter of the world’s population.

Africa’s 55 member states have long pushed for meaningful roles in global bodies, including the United Nations Security Council, and want reforms to the global financial system. The continent is increasingly attracting investment and political interest from global powers like China, Russia, Gulf nations, Turkey, Israel, and Iran. African leaders are challenging the framing of the continent as passive victim and want to be brokers instead.

They seek fairer treatment by financial institutions, delivery of rich countries’ long-promised $100 billion a year in climate financing for developing nations, and a global tax on fossil fuels. The AU’s full G20 membership will enable it to represent a continent that’s home to the world’s largest free trade area and abundant resources needed to combat climate change. The African continent has 60% of the world’s renewable energy assets and over 30% of the minerals key to renewable and low-carbon technologies.

African leaders want more industrial development closer to home to benefit their economies. Finding a common position among the AU’s member states, from economic powers to some of the world’s poorest nations, can be challenging, but Africa will need to speak with one voice to influence G20 decision-making. African leaders have shown their willingness to take collective action, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a high-profile G20 member, Africa’s demands will be harder to ignore.

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Forging Strong Bonds: Iran and Zimbabwe Deepen Economic Ties in Raisi’s Africa Tour



Zimbabwe and Iran

On Thursday, Zimbabwe and Iran signed 12 memorandums of understanding to strengthen their bilateral ties during Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Africa. Raisi had previously visited Kenya and Uganda before meeting with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Harare. Among the 12 MOUs is a plan to establish a tractor manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe with the help of an Iranian company and a local partner. The two countries also signed agreements for cooperation in energy, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications, as well as research, science, and technology projects.

Mnangagwa expressed his appreciation for investments in several sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy to reporters after the signing ceremony. However, he did not disclose the amount of investment Zimbabwe is expecting from Iran. Raisi mentioned the economic challenges facing Iran and Zimbabwe due to U.S. sanctions but emphasised his country’s efforts to build closer economic ties.

According to Iran’s foreign ministry, trade with Africa is expected to exceed $2 billion this year, but there was no comparison to the previous year’s figures. This African visit is the first by an Iranian leader since 2013, following a visit to three Latin American countries in June, all of which are also affected by U.S. sanctions.

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Breaking News: E-Creator Fraud Ring Leader Apprehended by Police



Zhao Jiaotong

The Zimbabwe Republic Police is requesting that individuals who have been deceived by E-Creator, Zhao Jiaotong come forward and report to the nearest police station.

According to police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, the kingpin of the E-Creator Ponzi scheme has been arrested on charges of fraud. The suspect is identified as Chinese national Zhao Jiaotong, who is said to be the founder of the notorious platform that has scammed people out of thousands of dollars.

Nyathi stated, “The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the arrest of Zhao Jiaotong, 39, in connection with a case of fraud in which unsuspecting members of the public were duped through the E-Creator Ponzi scheme.”

The police are urging anyone who may have fallen victim to E-Creator to report to their nearest police station. Additionally, the public is encouraged to exercise caution and perform thorough research before investing in any Ponzi or pyramid schemes that promise quick returns.

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