Zimbabwe: IDCZ Picks Investors for WMI, Deven

The Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ) board has appointed a special committee to review the short-listing of investors for Willowvale Mazda Industries and Deven Engineering.

The board, led by industrialist Mr Charles Msipa was appointed in May this year when the management had already covered much ground in identifying potential investors for the two entities.

In an update on privatisation of some State-owned entities last week, the Treasury said the IDCZ had picked investors for WMI and Deven and a memorandum had been written to the Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Sekai Nzenza on the winning bidders for consideration by Cabinet.

“We now have a new board, which is looking into those issues and Mr Msipa can provide more information,” said Minister Nzenza.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Msipa said his board would make recommendations to the Minister based on what the special committee would have recommended.

“When we came in, the management had done a lot of work and a special committee is basically reviewing what the management had already done,” said Mr Msipa.

“We will then be able to competently get our arms around this assignment; form a view on the processes (used in the short-listing the winning bidders) and then make our recommendations to the Ministry.”

The disposal of WMI and Deven is in line with restructuring of IDCZ subsidiaries and associate companies under the State Enterprises and Parastatal Reform Framework.

The restructuring is not only confined to total disposal subsidiaries and associate companies, but also entails liquidation, privatisation and partial privatisation.

Deven’s core competence is trucks and bus body manufacturing done on rolling chassis or from knocked down kits. It can build trailers, tankers and specialised vehicle bodies such as compactors, dumpers, tippers, refuse trucks and repairs.

WMI is one of the leading vehicle assemblers in Zimbabwe.

At its peak, it was producing 18 000 vehicles per year before production plunged.

Some of the brands which WMI assembled include Mazda, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Toyota.

In 2017, the company entered into a joint venture with Chinese firm to assemble cars from semi-knocked down kits.

The partnership resulted in the formation of Baic Zimbabwe, a joint venture between Chinese fifth largest car maker, Beijing Automobile International Corporation and Willowvale Motor Industries.

The Baic partnership has, however, been affected by subdued orders and the limited availability of foreign currency to buy kits.

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