Source: ‘Zim trade routes secure’ | The Herald May 30, 2016
Conrad Mwanawashe Business Reporter
THE Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantine Chiwenga says Zimbabwe’s trade routes through Mozambique in spite of the sporadic political skirmishes in that country.
He said the situation in Mozambique is under control and therefore business should take advantage of the peace dividend to grow the economy.
Zimbabwe uses Mozambique’s ports, particularly the Beira corridor to move goods inland and for exports.
Industrialists gathered at a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Thursday sought assurances from Gen Chiwenga over the safety of the trade route.
“Yes there is some bit of disturbances across the border but not to worry. We are quite happy. We are in constant touch with our brothers in Mozambique, our neighbours.
“It is important because we have national interests there. No one closes our routes of trade and gets away with it. It will not happen, you can be assured of that. However, we are happy that the situation is under control and if anything you will be advised,” Gen Chiwenga said.
An official from Tanganda Tea Company wanted to know the security situation on the border with Mozambique where the company operates tea plantations. A subsidiary company, of the listed Meikles group, Tanganda Tea Company is the largest producer, packer and distributor of tea products in Zimbabwe.
Tanganda’s agriculture division is based in the Chipinge district and consists of six estates inter-cropped with tea, coffee, avocados and macadamia nuts. Tea and coffee are processed in bulk form for sale, either on the international market or to the Beverage Division for local and regional packed tea sales.
Because of the company’s proximity to the border with Mozambique, the skirmishes were causing some challenges.
“I work for Tanganda Tea Company which operates along the border with Mozambique.
“I would like to know whether Mozambique has now been declared a war zone?” asked the official.
Ge Chiwenga said the situation is under control. He said, in search of a political solution, Mozambique has set up a committee to iron out the areas where there are differences.
“We are happy that the Mozambicans have taken the route for national dialogue. So politically as I speak, they have set up a team to iron out those areas where they differ. And we fully support them,” he said.
The SADC Defence Chiefs will be meeting in Mozambique next week and will also come up with ideas on how to deal with the situation.
“Let us sleep well so that we can have capacity to think and build our economy,” said Gen Chiwenga.