Traditional Chiefs from the Midlands Province on Friday went to the Ziscosteel plant in Redcliff where they performed rituals to dedicate the plant to ancestors.
Traditional opaque beer and drum beating, as well as dancing, characterised the all-night ceremony as the traditional leaders performed their rites.
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The rituals were performed as Ziscosteel is engaging stakeholders ahead of the anticipated reopening. Ziscosteel Public Relations Manager, Mrs Patricia Muzenda said traditional chiefs were key stakeholders. Said Mrs Muzenda:
_We have been engaging all our stakeholders as we look forward to reopening the company. In that vein, the chiefs being key stakeholders requested that they wanted to perform their traditional rituals at the plant. So, the activity was a result of the request from our chiefs._
_We are a nation with our own beliefs and as a company, we just had to comply with the request by the chiefs so that they can perform their rituals._
She added that it was not the first time for such rituals to be held at the company.
Chief Weight Gwesela reiterated Mrs Muenda’s remarks saying said the function was meant to dedicate Ziscosteel to their ancestors. He said:
_We have different beliefs according to countries and as Zimbabwe, we believe in dedicating everything we do to our ancestors. The event was for us to plead with our ancestors to watch over operations at the company. Remember this company deals with minerals and our ancestors watch over the minerals._
Also in attendance were chiefs, Mupamombe, Malisa, Chiundura, Gambiza and Kazangarare, and officials from the Kwekwe District Development office as well as Ziscosteel representatives.
Ziscosteel (Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company), is the largest steelworks in Zimbabwe and is located just outside Kwekwe, in Redcliff.
Over the years the company has faced many operational problems and corruption scandals.