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Buy Zimbabwe Hails Unpopular Import Ban Law

There was chaos at the Beitbridge Border Post recently when visitors clashed with Customs officials over the import ban.

While most consumers are up in arms with the government over what most people are calling the import ban on a number of products, Buy Zimbabwe Campaign, a non-governmental lobbyist group, has applauded the gazetting of a statutory instrument restricting the importation of some goods.

The instrument was suspended after shoppers rioted at the Beitbridge Border post recently and is set to be effected at the end of this month.

Goods that now require a permit to be brought into the country include coffee creamers (Cremora), camphor creams, white petroleum jellies and body creams and goods categorized as builders’ ware like wheelbarrows structures and parts of structures of iron or steel (bridges and bridges section, lock gates, towers, lattice masts, roofs, roofing frameworks, doors, windows and their frames and threshold for doors, shutters, balustrade, pillars and columns) and plates, rods, angles, shapes section and tubes prepared for use in structures of iron and steel ware, were also on the list of the restricted products.

Included in the list is furniture, baked beans, potato crisps, cereals, bottled water, mayonnaise, salad cream, peanut butter, jams, maheu, canned fruits and vegetables, pizza base, yoghurts, flavoured milks, dairy juice blends, ice-creams, cultured milk and cheese

The government argues that the amendment of the statutory instrument, which was formulated by the Rhodesian government in 1974 as a way of countering sanctions, is a timely measure to reign in the ballooning import bill.

Buy Zimbabwe Campaign chief executive officer, Munyaradzi Hwengwere, said the amendment does not ban imports.

“What they have done is to apply some delegation that allows the country to deal with the challenges that are in the country and what that means is that they have put up an administrative measure that has listed a number of products that are available in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Interview With Munyaradzi Hwengwere
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