In an interview with zifmnews.com, Ashruf Kaka, the company national project liaison officer, said the company was in Zimbabwe to stay and would remain focused on ensuring infrastructure development for the benefit of the people, not politics.
He was speaking after a tour of one of their company plants by a team led by the Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, comprising the Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Mines and Mining development chaired by Masvingo Urban Member of Parliament Daniel Shumba and the Finance committee chaired by David Chapfika.
“It is important that government is here today in the form of representatives of your calibre. It is important so that you understand where this project is coming from and where we are going,” he said.
“In recent times, some sections of the media have not been kind to us, drawing us into the political arena. We are not in the political arena. We are not politicians and we will not enter the political arena to get involved in those discussions, we are here for the long term as you have seen.”
This was in apparent response to the alleged illegality of importing 12 million litres of diesel duty free at the instigation of government, a topic that was discussed at a recent Zanu PF politburo meeting amid suspicion that some senior party officials were in “dodgy deals” with the company.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy in June grilled Transport minister Joram Gumbo on the issue. The committee has, however, expressed satisfaction after touring the facility on Monday.
Chinamasa cleared the air on the matter, saying there was nothing sinister, and that the project was granted a national status because it focused on infrastructural development which was key for growth.
“There are projects that we have given national project status and they include Hwange 7 and 8, Makomo Resources plant when it comes on stream, Lusulu power project in Binga. We have given national project status because we consider infrastructure as key to any future development.
“For that reason, I have always indicated that I will give national project status to any infrastructure development that is to take place in Zimbabwe so that we have a firmer foundation for the economic recovery and take off of our country,” Chinamasa said.
“The other projects that have been given exemption is Kariba South extension, we also gave duty free exemption for use in Dema power plant, which we have put there for emergency if we lose power. The other plant that we gave duty free is this plant and the importation is done by CMED.” zifmnews.com