President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel (Debt Assumption) Bill into law enabling Government to take over the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco)’s approximately $500 million debt owed to various local and foreign creditors.
The notice of the signing was published under General Notice 370A in the Extraordinary Government Gazette published on Monday. According to the schedule of the Act, Ziscosteel owes $211 912 400 in external loans, $6 095 620 to external suppliers, $57 696 085 in domestic loans and $219 113 219 to domestic suppliers, utilities and statutory obligations, bringing the total Ziscosteel debt to $494 817 324 million.
A huge chunk of the revenue to settle the Zisco steel is likely to be drawn from taxes paid by citizens and this automatically means the debt is indirectly weighed on the shoulders of the citizens. The National Economic Conduct Inspectorate (NECI), named former Vice President Joice Mujuru, the late Joseph Msika and Samuel Mumbengegwi, Olivia Muchena and Sithembiso Nyoni among others as some of the people who brought down ZISCO.