via ‘We pledge to deliver this time’ | The Herald January 26, 2015
Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha and Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa have pledged to deliver tangible results in their portfolios this year.
Addressing industrialists at a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries symposium on the country’s economic outlook for 2015 on Thursday, the two ministers said they had used their first year in office to study and consult on what needs to be done to transform their sectors.
Zimbabwe’s mining sector is currently one of the anchors of the economy but continues to be dogged by issues of lack of transparency and accountability on mineral proceeds as well as smuggling of minerals.
On the other hand, the manufacturing sector, previously a major contributor to the country’s gross domestic product, has seen a sustained decrease in production owing to a number of crippling factors which has led to de-industrialisation and loss of employment.
But having been in charge of the two portfolios since their appointment towards the end of 2013, Ministers Bimha and Chidhakwa said it was time to spin the fortunes of their sectors around.
“Sometimes you do not need money to make big changes, we can do things differently and achieve what we want,” said Minister Bimha.
“Last year was a year of preparation and 2015 is the year of seeing things being done.”
Minister Bimha, who has a Herculean task of reviving ailing local industry which has seen capacity utilisation drop to levels below 40 percent, said he had done enough consultations for policy direction from stakeholders in the past year.
“Now we want to move and let’s hope we will make 2015 a better year than the previous year.”
Minister Chidhakwa said the ministry was undertaking various initiatives which would result in improved compliance and production in the sector.
“The last one and half years have given me an understanding of the Ministry of Mines, not wholly but sufficiently to enable me to be able to do what needs to be done,” he told industrialists.
“I want to assure people that from where we sit, we are determined and we will ensure that something happens.”
“It is what we do as Zimbabweans first which when others (investors) are looking at will say, there is something happening there and we want to be part of what is happening there,” said Minister Chidhakwa. — New Ziana.