New Zimbabwe.com

Lancashire revival deal collapses

By Staff Reporter


THE deal between government and a Botswana based Indian company Whinstone Enterprises to revive Lancashire Steel has collapsed.

Botswana based Whinstone Enterprises, which signed a five year deal to revive moribund government owned Lancashire Steel, insists it is committed to revive the parastatal once government signed trade agreements.

Government has however, argues the deal is off after the company failed to meet expectations.

In an interview with newzimbabwe.com, Industry Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu confirmed government’s new position.

“As government, the position is that the agreement failed to meet the expected government standards,” said Ndlovu.

The deal if implemented would have given Whinstone Enterprise 50% ownership of the Kwekwe based firm after five years.

Interestingly the investors had not made available the figure they were pouring into the project.

Whinstone Enterprises director Deepak Verma speaking from his Botswana base said they are still waiting for government response on the outcome of the deal.

“We received communication from government that we are supposed to renegotiate the deal with Lancashire Steel.

“We are really surprised with the turn of events as we didn’t expect this outcome, considering that we thought we had addressed all the sticking issues,” Verma said.

“At the present moment I am in the dark on the consummation of the deal. We are actually surprised that the deal did not pass through the Joint Ventures Act. “What is quite disturbing is that we are only hearing of this now. To further complicate the issues, we were not given reasons for the failure of the deal to pass through the joint ventures act.”

Verma his company would wait for government to explain the reasons behind the collapse of the deal.

“We are engaging government, we have been writing to government on what needs to be done. We have been asking them on the way forward,” he said.