By William Milasi
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s top ally and cabinet minister July Moyo has implored Redcliff residents to vote the Zanu PF presidential candidate back into power insisting he had the plight of former Ziscosteel employees close to his heart.
Moyo, who is Local Government minister and aspiring legislator for Redcliff, was addressing Zanu PF supporters at an election campaign rally in Torwood over the weekend.
The Zanu PF official said the future of the steel giant’s ex-employees was only guaranteed if Mnangagwa was granted a fresh mandate to lead the country in elections due this July 30.
“Ex-Ziscosteel employees have suffered for a very long time and it is time for change. It is time to change our situation. We can only bring total change to our situation if we vote for President Mnangagwa,” Moyo said.
“He (Mnangagwa) is saddened by your plight and is the best candidate to uplift our lives; he is the best candidate to resuscitate Ziscosteel if you give him a fresh mandate.”
When Mnangagwa took over power from his former boss Robert Mugabe last November, he pledged to resuscitate Ziscosteel within his first 100 days in charge but this has remained a pipe dream.
Moyo’s utterances come after Zanu PF national chair, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, also speaking in Redcliff recently, blamed the company’s failure to reopen, on Mugabe.
Muchinguri-Kashiri said the ousted leader never wanted the giant employer to reopen as evidenced by his tolerance for corruption and underhand dealings which rocked the company, making it difficult for it to recover.
In August 2016, the company retrenched its entire workforce.
The layoffs followed the collapse of a multi-million-dollar deal with India’s Essar Group.
In 2011, Mugabe with his then power sharing partner, the now late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, signed the company’s elaborate takeover by the group.
The deal never came to fruition after serious bickering within a deeply divided inclusive government.
Mnangagwa, earlier this year assented to the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel (Debt Assumption) Bill enabling government to take over its approximately $500 million debt it owes to various local and foreign creditors.
Meanwhile, in his rally address weekend, Moyo encouraged Zanu PF supporters to conduct door-to-door campaigns to woo the MDC vote.
Redcliff urban has generally been considered an MDC stronghold after Zanu PF has generally fared badly in local government polls in the steel works town.
“I want each and every one to go forth and beg for that vote.
“We need every vote including that MDC vote. We thrive in numbers and we will get those numbers by conducting door-to-door campaigns,” he said.