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Zimbabwe Minister Vows to Implement Suspended Import Ban Law

Some vegetable oils found in various countries.

Zimbabwe’s Industry Minister Mike Bimha says the government is not going back on its proposed import ban on some commodities as it wants to boost production in local industries.

Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 was suspended last week following public protests at the Beitbridge border post after it was effected.

Some of the listed goods under the statutory instrument include salad cream, milk, shoe polish, cooking oil, bottled water, door and window frames, and several other commodities.

Bimha told VOA Studio 7 that there it does not make sense to buy goods outside Zimbabwe when they are readily available in the country.

Buy Zimbabwe Campaign, a non-governmental lobbyist group, has applauded the gazetting of a statutory instrument restricting the importation of some goods.

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.

Interview With Mike Bimha on Import Ban Law
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