Cabinet endorses Zesa deal to manufacture cables Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere chats with Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Martin Rushwaya after a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday. - Picture: Justin Mutenda

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter

A major US$25 million transmission cable manufacturing plant will be built in Harare in a joint venture between Zesa Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd and Management Services Company of the United Arab Emirates, with Cabinet approval for this huge investment coming yesterday.

Speaking after the Cabinet meeting yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Jenfan Muswere said the joint venture project will enable the transfer of technology and expertise to ZESA Enterprises and its staff and provide a market for Zimbabwean copper mines.

The proposal was presented by the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Professor Mthuli Ncube.

“Cabinet approved ZESA Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd to conclude an agreement framework with Management Services Company (for the) establishment of a US$25 million transmission cable manufacturing plant in Harare,” he said.

“The project will ensure availability of power cables for the revitalisation and expansion of transmission and distribution networks to meet national targets for increased access to electricity.”

Minister Muswere said those in the mining and cable manufacturing value chains and downstream industries would benefit significantly from the project.

Local copper mines would have a local market for their produce, and there will be significant employment opportunities for Zimbabweans.

“The value chains will also contribute to increased gross domestic product, through local, regional and continental cable and related product sales which will also include exports,” he  said.

Zesa Holdings has joined three of its subsidiaries under the ownership of the Mutapa Investment Fund, the national sovereign wealth fund, with only the national grid and sales utility Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution and Transmission Company remaining under direct State control.

In Statutory Instrument 51 gazetted yesterday, President Mnangagwa added the State shareholding in seven companies to the list of assets of the Mutapa Investment Fund.

Besides the shareholdings in Zesa Holdings and subsidiary Zesa Enterprises, a manufacturer, the President added five companies owned by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

These are: Aurex, a major jewellery maker; Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of Zimbabwe; Fidelity Gold Refinery; and HomeLink Private Limited and HomeLink Finance.

Zesa had last September seen two subsidiaries move to Mutapa: the Zimbabwe Power Company, which owns and runs Kariba South and Hwange Thermal Power stations and owns the sites of the three now closed small thermals, and PowerTel, which owns, leases out and manages the fibre optic network linked to the national grid.

The Mutapa Investment Fund was a major upgrade and renaming done in September last year of the original 2014 Sovereign Wealth Fund.

This upgrade saw the transfer of Government shareholdings in a block of State-owned entities and former parastatals to the fund along with other Government investments.

The purpose of using Mutapa to own the investments is to help ensure that they are profitable and well-run.

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