Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing in the National Assembly Dr Cyril Chami

The government plans to take tough action against investors who acquired former state-owned steel mills but failed to develop them.

The government stance was announced here yesterday by Minister for Industry and Trade Dr. Cyril Chami when responding to a supplementary question from Special Seats legislator Dr. Pudenciana Kikwembe.

The MP had wanted to know measures the government was planning to take against investors who bought state-divested steel mills and abandoned them, contrary to the privatization contract with the government.

According to the legislator, there were ten state-owned steel mills in the country, but only six of them were now operating while four were non-productive and the buyers were not bothering to develop them.

Responding, Chami admitted the problem, saying it was true that out of the ten privatized steel mills, only six were currently operating while four had ceased production.

“However, the government is thinking of taking steps to pin down these investors so that they can revive them, failure of which we may take back the mills,” said Chami.

He said a government team led by Consolidated Holding Corporation (CHC) was working on the matter and holding discussions with the investors on the modalities of reviving the steel mills.

Answering the basic question asked by the same MP, the minister said talks between investors who bought privatized state-owned industries and the government, through CHC, were going on with a view to figuring out the best strategies for reviving the industries.

“These discussions are conducted on the basis of their respective contracts they signed with the government…with a view to drawing up new agreements for reviving the industries, increase and improve production thus create more jobs,” explained the minister.

By Judica Tarimo, The Guardian



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