MP calls for local industry support 

Source: MP calls for local industry support – NewsDay Zimbabwe

BY MOSES MATENGA
NYANGA South legislator Supa Mandiwanzira (Zanu PF) has urged government to support local industries to ensure job creation and grow the foreign currency revenue base.

Mandiwanzira made the remarks on Wednesday in the National Assembly while contributing to a motion on the State of the Nation Address by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to call upon the government to support an aggressive implementation of this (local empowerment) policy,” he said.

“Not only can we achieve success economically, but we can substitute imports or substitute the exportation of dividends by ensuring that a lot of the products are being made locally.

“We have a lot of investors who have come from outside the country to bottle our water so we can drink it. They purify our Harare water, they sell it to us. When they get their profits, they change the money and ship those profits outside the country, yet we can employ our young Zimbabweans in Nyanga and many other districts …”

The country has a Buy Zimbabwe campaign that seeks to inspire economic growth and competitiveness of local brands.

Zimbabwe also has a policy that reserves certain sectors for locals.

The reserved sectors include transport, retailing, wholesaling, hair salons, advertising agencies, estate agencies, grain milling, bakeries, tobacco grading and packaging and artisanal mining.

“The same applies to timber. We have (a huge forestry industry) in Nyanga, but we buy furniture in Harare, from China and South Africa. When you look at the price of some of the machinery to produce furniture, it is not expensive. It will honestly be embarrassing that we are importing furniture,” Mandiwanzira said.

The former ICT minister said the country could not continue losing potential foreign currency by not supporting local industry.

“We are letting go the opportunity of keeping that foreign currency that they (foreign entities) make as profit in this country — we are allowing it to leave the country,” Mandiwanzira said, adding there was need to also push foreign companies to invest in socials services infrastructure.

“We must say, ‘okay, you can access our lithium, but we are expecting you to build a dam in that area, you can access our lithium, but we expect you to build a hospital’ and not just a small clinic because the hospital will always be there to assist the community.”

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