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Zimbabwe's Manufacturing Sector Failing to Adapt to New Challenges

  • Gibbs Dube

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, CZI, says the country’s manufacturing sector is in a crisis because it has not adapted to new challenges that came with the introduction of multiple currencies three years ago.

CZI president Kumbirai Katsande told parliament’s industry and commerce committee on Tuesday that about 75 percent of goods in local shops are sourced from outside the country, an indication the local industry is uncompetitive.

Katsande said dollarization of the economy meant that local companies have to compete on the international market, and companies without international links are failing to cope.

He scoffed at attempts by the so-called Buy Zimbabwe Campaign to promote the purchase of local goods, saying the initiative was a waste of time as the manufacturing sector is almost dysfunctional.

Most industries are operating below capacity due to lack of capital to boost their production and fears over the black economic empowerment program being spearheaded by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.

Indigenization Minister Saviour Kasukuwere recently published a controversial notice giving banks, education institutions and companies in the tourism sector and others to start transferring majority shares to local people.

Under the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act, foreign-owned companies are compelled to part with a stake of 51 percent.

Bulawayo businessman Bulisani Ncube commended the CZI boss for highlighting serious challenges being faced by the manufacturing sector saying it is expensive to produce goods in Zimbabwe.