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