Dangote’s $1 Billion Plan For Zim Goes Up In Smoke

 Dangote’s $1 Billion Plan For Zim Goes Up In Smoke
Published: 2016 August 04 08:15:25 (3016 Views)

…As Zanu PF Factional Fights Reach Boiling Point
BILLIONAIRE Nigerian investor Aliko Dangote’s plans for US$1 billion worth of investment in Zimbabwe could go up in smoke after the country’s Immigration Department denied visas to aides he wanted to dispatch into the country to expedite progress, the Financial Gazette can exclusively report.
The decision could be a result of factional fights within President Robert Mugabe’s government, torn by internecine bickering between a faction linked to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and another fighting to thwart any prospects of him succeeding the incumbent in the event that he leaves office.
Mnangagwa is said to be vigorously pushing for Dangote’s investment plans. In terms of the country’s visa regime, Nigeria is under Group C classification, meaning that citizens of that country must obtain visas first before they enter Zimbabwe.
While the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) has already issued the requisite permits for the Dangote Group to start work, it is critical that the group deploys its best brains on the ground to monitor the various stages of implementation. Currently, the group is seized with preliminary activities such as geological surveys for its coal and cement projects.
Although the Dangote group could not be reached for comment, an official from ZIA, Farai Sadomba, confirmed the development.
“Yes, Dangote has met with difficulties in acquiring visas from the Immigration Department for his technical team to get into Zimbabwe,” Sadomba said. ZIA is a statutory body created to promote and facilitate both local and foreign direct investment.
It emerged from the amalgamation of the Export Processing Zones Authority and the Zimbabwe Investment Centre as government sought to create a one stop investment shop for quicker and easier facilitation of foreign investment.
When Dangote visited the country last year to explore investment opportunities, he met President Mugabe and promised to pour in over US$1 billion for a power generation plant, a coal mine and a cement manufacturing plant that would cost US$400 million. It would be much bigger than all the plants held under the group’s Dangote Cement.
The three projects were meant to commence early this year but Dangote had clearly indicated that this would depend on the issuance of relevant permits, for which he said government had already promised to “accelerate” all approvals.
But it would appear organs of the same government are throwing spanners in the works.Immigration principal director, Clemence Masango, demanded questions in writing when asked why they had denied visas to Dangote’s technical team. But he has not yet responded to questions sent to him on Tuesday.
Dangote’s planned projects are expected to create hundreds of jobs and inject desperately-needed cash into the economy, which is struggling with a liquidity crunch that has almost completely ruined the economy.





- FinGaz
 0

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