MUTARE, November 18 (The Source) – Government has awarded a lucrative tender to Power Zimbabwe Private Limited – a company wholly owned by war veterans – as the ex-combatants make a fresh bid to venture into business after the liquidation of their Zexcom Foundation.
Formed in 1998, Zexcom, which owns some properties in Harare, Bulawayo and Murehwa valued at $2 million, was placed under liquidation in January 2014. The veterans, through their association, were also part of a consortium of local founding shareholders of mobile phone network operator Telecel, which is now the subject of a dispute among the founding partners.
War Veterans Ministry permanent secretary, Retired Brigadier-General Asher Walter Tapfumaneyi told The Source that the newly established war veterans’ firm had been contracted to transport 10,000 tonnes of drought relief maize from Zambia to Karoi in a deal that could net $400,000.
“If we perform well, it is possible that we will be given another deal to import 200,000 metric tonnes. We could earn a substantial amount that will allow us to support our members and not beg government for financial support all the time,” he said.
At a recent meeting in Mutare with veterans of the liberation war, Tapfumaneyi said the setting up of Power Zimbabwe was approved by Cabinet in October last year. The company will be wholly owned by a trust called Madzimbahwe, which is yet to be registered.
The company is currently chaired by the Ministry’s principal director responsible for administration, Major General Richard Ruwodo, while officials from the ministry are members of the interim board.
Tapfumaneyi said the company also received four hunting concessions from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate and had roped in an investor from South Africa to refurbish the camps and lodges at the concessions.
Part of the agreement is that the investors will recover their costs through the initial proceeds of the business up until end of 2018.
Power Zimbabwe also acquired a 50 percent shareholding stake in a quarry site in Masvingo, Tapfumaneyi said. The acquisition would benefit from the construction of the Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu road.
Government recently set aside 40 percent stake to local contractors in the rehabilitation of the road.
“We are targeting that when construction of the Beitbridge to Chirundu highway commences, we supply our quarry to the whole section or a small section of it, so that we generate a bit of income. We do not want to solely depend on taxpayer’s money,” said Tapfumaneyi.