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Zimbabwe to privatize some state-owned firms

The Zimbabwe government on Friday announced plans to privatize some of its under-performing state firms as part of a comprehensive reform aimed at improving performance of the state-owned entities that have become a drain on the national fiscus.

At their peak in the 1990s, the entities used to contribute 40 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told a press conference that the reform program would result in some entities being merged, privatized, liquidated or absorbed as ministerial departments.

The government, he said, was still carrying out discussions on the appropriate decision to take on state airline Air Zimbabwe.

He said four companies will be privatized including insurance firm Allied Insurance and grain bag manufacturer Zimbabwe Grain Bag.

Among the entities targeted for partial privatization are oil company Petrotrade, postal firm Zimpost, Post Office Savings Bank, Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, mobile phone companies Net One and Telecel and fixed phone operator Tel-One.

Struggling mines run by the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation will also be partially privatized, as well as car manufacturer Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries, fertilizer manufacturer Chemplex Corporation and road transport firm ZUPCO.

Source: Xinhuanet

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