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Zimbabwe's Distressed Firms Operating At One Third Of Capacity

Zimbabwe’s once-vibrant manufacturing sector is operating at just one third of its capacity while only one in 20 business people believe the economy will recover by 2010, a survey conducted by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries found.

CZI President Callisto Kokonya said Zimbabwe has in effect de-industrialized itself due to the cumulative effects of misguided economic policies. "We are in a crisis," Jokonya said. "We no longer have any industry to talk about."

He said most Zimbabwean manufacturing firms have gone out of business or shifted their main operations to other countries in the Southern African region.

Industry and Trade Minister Obert Mpofu has promised to halt the slide by offering soft loans to distressed companies, but Jokonya said this was no solution.

Jokkonya told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that continual power cuts, soaring fuel prices and hard currency shortages are crippling firms.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...