Zimbabwe toughens import measures

via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Zimbabwe toughens import measures 04 September 2014

Zimbabwe has widened the number of goods that require import licences for import into the country as government moves to protect local industry following an insurmountable proliferation of imports from other countries.

There, however, are fears that other countries within the Southern African Community region might hit back.

With provisions of the Control of Goods (import and export) Regulation of 1974, Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha increased the products that require import licences from nine to 16 with effect frm 15 August.

Products that were added include milk (liquid and powder packed for retail), potatoes (tomatoes and onions), Biscuits & yeast, Portland cement, soap & soap preparations, plastic bags of polymets, Tubes (pipes, conveyor belts and rubber hoses).

Excise and customs duty expert Elisha Tshuma hailed government for introducing  the statutory instrument, but said that the move needs to be complemented by real actions  that strengthen industries to compete in the region.

“Checking from the type of the goods that have been added to the list, there is a justification because they all can be sourced locally.

“However, protectionist measures are always short term solutions to the problem. The question will be what is government doing to promote capacity utilisation of our industries,” Tshuma said.

“Protection without enhancing our industry will not get us anyway,” he added.

Bimha appointed Advisory Committees on ‘Imports’ and ‘Ease and cost of doing business in Zimbabwe’ in May to help strategise ways to curb imports.

Confederations of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI) latest statistics show that industries are working at a third of capacity, down from 39% a few months ago.

The import bill is projected to nudge up to $8,3 billion this year, from an estimated $7,7 billion last year.


  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    The minister and the alleged expert cited in this article are idiots. It is my right to spend my money as I see fit. It is no business of theirs, butt out.

  • comment-avatar
    Bambazonke 8 years ago

    For the likes of tregers and tube and pipe industries will just put there prices up by 20% and these are both ZANU owned companies. Take that sports lovers and we think they are stupid.

  • comment-avatar
    Guvnor 8 years ago

    Has a definitive study been done as to why the local organisations can themselves not:-
    a) produce products at a quality and price acceptable to the market.
    b) Hit back at the competition and enter the export market
    The issue is that legislation should not protect inefficient industries who make little or no real effort to adapt and grow to face global realities.

    • comment-avatar
      mbombo 8 years ago

      u nailed it hama!!! firms in zim should produce products that are competitive on both local and international markets.

  • comment-avatar
    bingo wajakata 8 years ago

    Dear Guvnor,
    Very much on spot but the caliber of people in ZANU PF do not understand that kind of logic. The last time i checked their dear leader had several degrees all at bachelor’s level which as the late Edson Zvobgo begs to the question “Did Matibiri not know that there were higher qualifications after BSc or BA?” ZANU has not managed to transform itself from a terrorist organization 34 years after independence, look at the way the police brutalize and stop the ordinary person from their constitutionally granted rights. Look at how Matibiri claims to have degrees in violence and in deed he would qualify for a PhD in economic destruction and a postDoc in genocide. Zverconomy zvawataura havazvizivi izvo. Be bottom line is Zimbabwe is now a police state and anyone who dares say the truth including why the economy has collapsed is regarded as an enemy of the stage unless they sing the sanction song!

  • comment-avatar
    Tongoona 8 years ago

    Bimha and your expert tell us what study you carried out to arrive at this decision. Are you living in Zimbabwe or outside Zimbabwe. Unemployment is virtually at 100% and some of these imports were creating employment for some Zimbabweans. Are you not aware as Minister that businesses closed down and continue to close. Besides local goods are substandard for example locally produced sugar is full of sand. Is it not criminal to sell people sand in place of sugar. Potatoes grown in this country have been over used as seed and so quality suffers. Tell us if the country has a viable potato seed multiplication scheme. Biscuits produced here provide no variety of choice to the consumer and in some cases stuffed with castor sugar instead of cream. No Bimha, spare us your nonsense.

  • comment-avatar
    Almost There 8 years ago

    Importanting things means either the local suppliers can’t meet demand or are very expensive for a population with over 80% with no guaranteed source of income. What’s going to happen next is shortages that will even create more problems because prices will begin to rise. THE FARMS ARE LYING IDLE

  • comment-avatar
    Reader 8 years ago

    What about the SADC agreement that Sadc manufactured items are duty free.
    WHAT has changed from the SADC meeting 2 weeks ago where the chairman (Mugarbage) told the leaders we have to support each other. NOW IMPORT DUTIES, We cant manufacture anything.

    So the economy crashes again, How Bloody stupid can we be.
    We are failing the world not just ourselves. STUPID< STUPID STUPID.

  • comment-avatar
    maita 8 years ago

    Stupidity is in the flows in the veins of zanupf unfortunately an idiot with a gun is very dangerous.

  • comment-avatar
    bruce koffe 8 years ago

    Before the poor economic policies of Mugabe and his ZANU PF people used not to import soap or such trivial items. But since there are no industries manufacturing/processing and whole-selling these items locally people have to import. ZANU PF politicians who now own half of the Zimbabwe retailing business import these items and sell to the same consumers who can efficiently import on their on at reasonable price than buy at exorbitant prices, that protectionism will be exploitation of the poor.

  • comment-avatar
    Stupid government 8 years ago

    Zanu yatiura

  • comment-avatar

    if the governing minister knows what he is talking about he would know that our industry is totally scr…d. Does he realise or even better ask him to take a drive around the industry i.e. Ardbeniie, Msasa, New Ardbennie, Waterfalls,
    right Industry, Workington, as so forth. Who really messed up our industry. The likes of people that have never really worked but get the so like profits from NGO’s then say and talk cr>>about Zimbabwean’s. GUYS WAKE UP and smell the “FRESH CUP”
    IF anyone ones to check upon my ISP. go ahead. nothing to hide.You all welcome but be careful privacy act.