Source: CMEC boss meets VP Mnangagwa | The Herald June 9, 2016
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
China Machinery Engineering Corporation, the company contracted to rehabilitate Harare water and sewage system, has expressed optimism that Zimbabwe’s economy will bounce back, saying Harare has a bright future despite current challenges.
CMEC executive director Mr Zhang Chun said they were keen to continue operating in Zimbabwe as they were happy with business prospects in the country.
Mr Zhang said this in an interview soon after paying a courtesy call on Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa offices.
“We have confidence in Zimbabwe’s economy and the country’s future. Today we came to meet the Vice President just to give a report on our progress,” said Mr Zhang.
The company is rehabilitating Morton Jaffray at a cost of $144 million.
Mr Zhang said the firm is keen on participating in the development of Zimbabwe’s infrastructure.
“The main part of Morton Jaffray is finished and we will start the other part very soon,” he said.
Mr Zhang’s comments on Zimbabwe put paid to claims from some quarters that Chinese firms were turning their back on Zimbabwe over Harare’s economic policies. The comments were heightened when Government cancelled mining licence for companies that were extracting diamonds at Chiadzwa diamond fields, some of which included Chinese firms.
Earlier, Switzerland-based Bata Shoe company Vice President, Mr Tim Jude, said the firm had significantly raised its production levels to 89 percent after a deep slump over the years, an indication of good economic environment of the country.
Mr Jude said this after paying a courtesy call on VP Mnangagwa.
He said they were encouraged by the visit last week, by VP Mnangagwa at their factory in Gweru.
“Vice President was very kind to come to our factory to see progress with our production and empowerment programmes. It was good to follow up on him to get his views. We are quite happy with production levels which is at 89 percent. It has improved enormously,” said Mr Jude.
Asked what challenges the company was facing, Mr Jude said the liquidity challenges the country was grappling with made imports difficult.
“There are currency issues and to import is very expensive and difficult to find the currency. On the other hand customers have to get cash to buy which is quite difficult at the moment,” said Mr Jude.
VP Mnangagwa toured several firms in Midlands last week, to have an appreciation of the challenges they were facing.