essar deal agreement.jpgA local economist has queried the New Zim Steel deal that was entered into between the government and an Indian firm, Essar, saying government did not negotiate in the country’s best interests.

The revival of New Zim Steel formerly Ziscosteel was greeted with relief by over 3000 former workers as well as Redcliff residents, who had borne the brunt of economic hardships due to the demise of the steel giant.

However, the deal that was struck last year has come under scrutiny with analysts saying it does not benefit the nation in a broader perspective.

Economic analyst, Mr Brains Muchemwa said the deal is not in the best interests of Zimbabweans, questioning the people who did the geological survey to ascertain the country’s iron ore reserves.

essar house.jpgEfforts to get a comment from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce were fruitless as Minister Welshman Ncube was out of town.

However, Essar Resident Director for Middle East and Africa, Mr Firdhose Coovadia said the deal is still on and experts will be coming in the country soon to start progress on the plant so as to meet the 18 months deadline.

Zimbabwe boasts of abundant mineral resources with arguably the largest iron ore reserves in the world after India and Australia.

Analysts argue that investment coming in on the Essar deal is too little for the country to celebrate as resources have been given away for a song.