THE government was this week said to be considering two alternative names for a rebranded Privatisation Agency of Zimbabwe (PAZ), officials told businessdigest.
The proposed names, coming as part of broad transformation plans to include reorientation of the state agency’s mandate, were given as Restructuring Authority of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe State Enterprises Restructuring Authority.
Andrew Bvumbe, who doubles as the Finance ministry’s principal director for economic development and PAZ boss, on Tuesday confirmed the on-going thrust.
He could not, however, give time frames as to when the renaming process would be wound up.
Bvumbe gave the sort of feeling that it was now entirely up to his stand-in boss Herbert Murerwa.
Bvumbe emphasised, though, that the name would reflect the privatisation department’s new mandate of not only restructuring state companies and championing black empowerment, but maximising shareholder earnings in entities where it has not fully let up.
PAZ, which was initially formed to privatise parastatals, is now changing its thrust to commercialisation of the entities and identifying foreign partners.
The PAZ boss said the rebranding was also in line with regional trends where such institutions “are not only involved in privatisation, but entire parastatals reform”.
Asked about possible duplication of roles between the PAZ, Rugare Gumbo’s State Enterprises and Parastals ministry, and Josiah Tungamirai’s Indigenisation department, Bvumbe said they had “distinct roles” and had consulted in finding an appropriate name for his Finance-affiliated agency.
He said they had adequate resources to “carry through” the restructuring exercise, which will also see further staff recruitment and bolstering of other departmental activities.
The money, Bvumbe said, would come from their 2005 national budget allocation, although he could not disclose how much money had been availed for the exercise.
The PAZ reform also comes at a time when Harare has unveiled pronounced state-companies-reform measures, which not only focus on commercialisation, but enhanced profit principle and anchoring economic growth initiatives.
These measures, also aimed at enhancing international competitiveness and revenue earnings, form part of broad economic revival plans.
Charged with key reforms of state-held companies, Bvumbe’s institution has had part involvement or keen interest in various shareholder/earnings initiatives such as profitable Astra’s demerger.