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Create an enabling environment, incoming Zim Govt told

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By Dumisani Nyoni

BULAWAYO—The Bulawayo business community has urged the incoming government to hit the ground running by creating an enabling environment that will promote businesses in the second largest city.

Zanu-PF party led by President-elect, Emmerson Mnangagwa, won the disputed July 30, 2018 elections. Mnangagwa is expected to be inaugurated on August 12, 2018, according to circular number 18 of 2018.

Bulawayo, which was earmarked for special economic zone (SEZ) by government some few years ago, has suffered chronic de-industrialisation effects over the past two decades with over 100 firms — mostly in the manufacturing, textile and clothing sectors— closing down and leaving thousands of workers jobless.

Some of the firms that closed shop include David Whitehead Limited, Textile Mills, Belmore Manufacturers, True Value, Label Fashion, Suntosha Leisure Wear, Lancaster, Harren Manufacturing, Belmor Fashions, Cinderella, Rusglen Fashions, Ascot Clothing, to name a few. 

Other former giants like National Blankets and Security Mills are under judicial management, while the Cold Storage Company and National Railways of Zimbabwe are operating way below capacity.

Association for Business in Zimbabwe (Abuz) chief executive officer, Victor Nyoni said the incoming government should create an enabling environment for businesses in the City of kings to thrive.

“This is the time to walk the talk. Whatever the President-elect promised to do during the campaign period should be implemented. He should move from mere talking to action,” Nyoni said.

“By so doing, the economy will move forward,” he said.

Nyoni said government should continue engaging with international community as that would help revive the economy.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Matabeleland Chapter chairman, Golden Muoni said the incoming government should expedite the implementation SEZ programme for the benefit of the economy in Bulawayo.

“We expect the new government to speed up the implementation of the special economic zone programme and other policies,” he said.

Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Harare’s Sunway City, Mutare and Lupane were chosen for the SEZ development.

In Bulawayo, the plan is to set up an industrial economic zone covering the beef and leather industry, cotton and textile, steel and foundry industries as well as the rehabilitation of the National Railways of Zimbabwe.

Muoni said companies in the city were also suffering from foreign currency shortages.

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