CONFEDERATION of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) boss Antony Mandiwanza says the cash-strapped National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) is highly inefficient, grossly underutilise
d and should be deregulated immediately.
In an emotional address at the post-budget seminar in Harare last Friday, Mandiwanza, who is also Dairibord Zimbabwe Ltd chief executive officer, said industry was fed up with Noczim and it should be deregulated as a matter of urgency.
“The role of Noczim is very questionable to us the private sector,” Mandiwanza told Finance minister Herbert Murerwa.
“Noczim is highly inefficient, grossly underutilised and should be deregulated. I wonder why we continue to have it.”
He said government should also deregulate the use of the Beira pipeline and allow private fuel importers to hire the facility when they needed it.
“This will be cheaper and cost-effective,” he said. “Noczim should just charge for use of the pipeline and not get involved in fuel imports because it has completely failed and we (business) have serious problems especially in the transport industry.”
Mandiwanza said Noczim should play an administrative role such as monitoring fuel pricing and should “get out of the fuel importation business”.
“It should simply deal with strategic and operational issues haunting our economy,” Mandiwanza said.
In his 2004 budget statement Murerwa said in view of the deregulation of the fuel industry, Noczim would continue to supply fuel to the public sector as well as the agricultural sector and was expected to charge break-even prices for all its products.
Before the liberalisation of fuel procurement, amortisation of the Noczim debt was part of the pump price build up.
“In view of the many direct fuel importers now involved, I propose a levy of $110 per litre of diesel and petrol, both leaded and unleaded to be collected at the point of entry by Zimra,” Murerwa said. “This measure is effective from December 1 2003 and does not include illuminating paraffin and aviation fuel.”
Noczim, which is known more for its corruption scandals, has been accused of uneconomic pricing policies that have led to government embarking on unsustainable borrowing requirements in excess of $150 billion.