Govt hunts for new Paz CEO

Godfrey Marawanyika

THE government has started drafting plans that will see the appointment of a new chief executive for the Privatisation Agency of Zimbabwe (Paz) to replace Andrew Bvumbe. <
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Bvumbe is now permanent secretary in the Ministry of Economic Development.


Bvumbe this week confirmed the search for a substantive head was under way.


“I cannot say anything on it right now but something is being done since I cannot manage two posts. All I can say is we will soon be advertising for a substantive CEO,” he said.


Bvumbe said the government had started re-assessing the privatisation or commercialisation of state entities.


He said the evaluation was being done to enable government to completely dispose of assets or engage in partnerships.


“We are doing a paper on what has to be done with state assets and only then can we be in a position to see what will be done.”


Over the past three years government has not privatised or commercialised any of its entities, largely because of loss disparities on the valuation process.


Paz has been made redundant by the government’s privatisation policy shift last year, which resulted in all proposed restructuring or unbundling exercises being put on hold.


Instead, government opted for commercialisation of non-performing firms.

Paz had earmarked nine parastatals for restructuring and privatisation by this year.


The firms that had been shortlisted for offloading include Air Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), National Railways of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, Tel*One, Net*One and the Forestry Company of Zimbabwe.


The restructuring ranged from complete or partial privatisation which sought to introduce market incentives in state-owned enterprises but enabling government to retain strategic equity holdings.


Government was hoping that the restructuring programme would attract foreign direct investment, reduce public sector borrowing and access globally competitive technology.


Paz last year tried in vain to hunt for investors that would inject a 30% equity in both Tel*One and Net*One.