GMB unbundling pays off Minister Mutsvangwa

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
The Public Enterprise Reform Programme by Government is already paying off, with Silo Food Industries set for operations next month following the de-merger of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) into two companies.

As part of the State Enterprises reform, GMB was unbundled into the Strategic Grain Reserve and the Silo Food Industries.

Updating journalists on the outcome of yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said: “With respect to the Public Enterprise Reform Programme, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development (Professor Mthuli Ncube) updated Cabinet on progress made following the de-merger of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) into the Strategic Grain Reserve division and a commercial arm, Silo Food Industries.

“The minister highlighted that the following steps of progress had been made towards operationalisation of Silo Food Industries:

That Silo Food Industries is set to begin operations in its new status from 1 April, 2019

That various institutions have already expressed interest to partner Silo Food Industries and

That Silo Food Industries requires US$54,7 million and RTGS $40 million to finance its operations over a five-year period.

Taking into cognisance the critical role Silo Food Industries is set to play in the economy, Cabinet approved the following:

That the process of appointing the Silo Food Industries Board be expedited to give necessary strategic guidance and oversight to the entity.

That funding proposals from potential strategic partners for Silo Food Industries be submitted for consideration and approval by Government and

That Government’s minimum equity holding in Silo Food Industries be 26 percent.”

She said Cabinet also approved a proposal by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on Principles to Amend the Labour Act (Chapter 28.01) in order to align it with the Zimbabwe Constitution.

The amendments principally seek to provide for the qualifications and appointment of all judges of the Labour Court.

Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet also had a discussion on the proposal on de-siltation and riverbed mining.

She said Cabinet considered and approved a proposal by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development (Winston Chitando) to grant 11 companies permission to undertake mechanised riverbed mining.

“The applications by the companies had previously been approved by Government,” she said.

“However, Government had subsequently issued a Statutory Instrument to ban all mechanised riverbed mining in 2014. The Statutory Instrument was amended in 2018 by the repeal of these restrictions.”

Furthermore, it was resolved that any new applicants for de-siltation and/or riverbed mining be considered under joint venture arrangements with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, which will be tasked with the responsibility of overseeing compliance with environmental provisions.

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