Van Hoogstraten sees hope in ED

By Daniel Chigundu

BUSINESS tycoon Nicholas Van Hoogstraten says he supports the new dispensation policy on opening the country for business.

Since his inception in November 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made it clear that Zimbabwe is open for business and is willing to engage with investors from any country.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Parliamentary Portfolio on Mines, Van Hoog said change cannot take place in a month but needs time and that the new dispensation has good intentions.

“I believe and support that Zimbabwe is open for business I believe that is the intention of the new administration and they are doing the right things.

“Change will not come in a week or in five months it takes time and it will begin to show,” he said.

Van Hoogstraten who has interests in various businesses is the second largest shareholder in Hwange Colliery which was placed under Construction a few weeks ago.

The businessman also told the media that he together with other shareholders actually donated the current 40 percent stake which is owned by the government in Hwange, adding that the shares were actually donated to the people of Zimbabwe.

“I have always been the second biggest shareholders after Anglo America and more recently after independence when myself and Anglo donated the 40 percent stake which government now has to the people of Zimbabwe.

“The interesting thing is that we donated at the time to the people of Zimbabwe, I don’t know about the government status but these shares were actually donated by myself, Anglo and the other shareholders the minority.

“We put the proposal in 1982 and it was effected in 1983 then at some stage they have transferred I don’t know how, it’s actually a legal matter, but the share donation was to the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Van Hoogstraten says he now regrets donating the shares because the people of Zimbabwe have not benefited from them and even government itself has not benefitted anything from Hwange.

So dire is the situation at Hwange that the company has been making gross losses, has huge debts to service providers and customers and Van Hoogstraten attributed the company’s misfortune to corruption and incompetence.

“It’s incompetence and corruption obvious; it doesn’t surprise me does it surprise you? It’s consistent incompetence and massive corruption.

“The people have definitely not benefited, the country has not benefitted,” he said.

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