Source: 13 laws to spur Zim-Asset set | The Herald December 2, 2016
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
Government will promulgate at least 13 pieces of legislation in the first quarter of 2017 to improve the country’s competitiveness and ease of doing business as it accelerates the implementation of Zim-Asset and the 10-Point Plan enunciated by President Mugabe last year.
The Office of the President and Cabinet will at the same time move sector-by-sector facilitating the ease of doing business and ensuring the private sector plays a decisive role in the achievement of Zim-Asset targets and implementation of the 10-Point Plan.
This was said by Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda after touring three companies that have made life-changing investments in Harare’s Workington industrial area in the past few years.
The companies are Trade Kings Zimbabwe, Pure Oil Industries and Chloride Zimbabwe.
Dr Sibanda was accompanied by his deputies — Dr Ray Ndhlukula and Retired Colonel Christian Katsande — and senior officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet.
He said 2017 should be a year of practical delivery of Zim-Asset targets and that every Government stakeholder should play a part in ensuring that industry was revived.
“Certainly, beginning next year, we are going to be moving faster. We have legislations that are about to be completed. Thirteen of them, which will be completed by the first quarter of next year to make the ease of doing business more visible. And, as I said earlier on, we will go sector-by-sector including manufacturing, the agro industry, even more often the utilities like Zesa, the Environmental Management Agency so that we reduce the cost of production which is caused by unrealistic charges,” said Dr Sibanda.
“We want to compete with our neighbours rather than charging unnecessary high prices — be they at council level — because at times you find that those who want to invest also pay to the councils different fees or levies.
“We want to standardise that. We will be going sector by sector in the implementation of the ease of doing business,” he said.
During his first stop at Trade Kings Zimbabwe, Dr Sibanda said he was impressed by the modern plant set up by the company using advanced technology from Italy.
He assured the company of full Government support in the implementation of its project, which is being carried out in three phases.
The first phase, which is the setting up of a detergents production plant worth $15 million, was given national project status.
Said Dr Sibanda: “We want to assure you that our job is to facilitate the private sector to be a lead agency in our development process and this is why our office is at the forefront following the pronouncement by His Excellency, the President in his 10 Point Plan that we should ease the environment of doing business and the easing of the environment of the doing business is going on. We will be moving very soon in the New Year, especially in the manufacturing sector.
“If you have any challenges do not hesitate to come through your parent ministry and we will facilitate to ensure that you are fully-fledged in the shortest possible time.”
Trade Kings Zimbabwe managing director Mr Sayed Mahmed said they would be exporting some of their products.
“The capacity of the powder plant exceeds the total requirements of the Zimbabwean market,” he said.
“This makes us self-sustaining as a country and provides large potential and capacity for the export markets.”
Mr Mahmed said their aim was to deliver truly Zimbabwean products working with downstream suppliers to stimulate the economy.
At Pure Oil Industries, the company’s managing director Mr P.K Ganediwal who represented Parrogate in the company’s shareholding, said their focus was mainly on the production of basic commodities.
He said the company had the capacity to produce seven million litres of cooking oil every month but shortage of soya beans was hampering progress.
“We should not be importing basics and our staple food,” he said. “We are also supporting farmers in the production of soya beans and this year we are targeting 2 000 hectares under contract farming.”
He said they also planned to engage Government with a view to going directly into large-scale farming to produce cheaper raw materials.
Pure Oil Industries head of operations, Mr Rod Musiyiwa, said: “We are very grateful each time we see senior Government officials coming to witness what we are doing here. I think it’s a good testimony of what can happen when we combine efforts with Government. Creating synergies like these will go a long way in creating employment, a long way in improving our economy and to make our Zimbabwe a better country.”
He said the company was facing challenges and he was happy that Dr Sibanda had assured them of Government’s support in their operations.
ART Corporation, which owns Chloride Zimbabwe, said it had benefited from Government policies including a waiver of duty on capital equipment imports.
ART chairman Dr Thomas Utete Ushe said they had invested $3 million in the past two years and their focus now was to expand their export market for car batteries.
Currently, the company is exporting to Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique and has set its eyes on Angola.