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BizDay Zimbabwe

President Mugabe engages industry

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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has begun consultations with industry for policy formulation ahead of the formation of a new government following his party’s victory at elections held on July 31.
Sources said the Office of the President and Cabinet last week asked the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (COMZ) and other business organisations to submit proposals on how they felt government should deal with the country’s economy.
Industry leaders told The Financial Gazette this week that they had made their submissions and were waiting for feedback from government.

They said they expected the new administration to put in place export incentives, relax labour laws, and come up with a lasting solution to the power crisis in the country.
They also called for the strengthening of the financial system to give it capacity to bail out struggling industries.

The mining sector is understood to have called for a review of several fees and statutory obligations affecting mining operations such as royalties.
COMZ chief executive officer, John Chikombero, told The Financial Gazette this week that he was not at liberty to discuss what the mining industry had submitted to government, but confirmed they have been engaging government since the end of the polls.

“What we submitted remains confidential,” Chikombero said. “But we are always in constant engagement with government over many issues affecting the industry,” he said.
The ZNCC also confirmed the engagements.

“We have been invited to make submissions,” said ZNCC president, Hlanganiso Matangaidze, who declined to reveal their concerns, saying: “It is premature for us to discuss our submissions.”
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange has de-listed several manufacturing firms this year alone largely due to failure by companies to access cheap credit for recapitalisation as well as retooling their factories.
Antiquated machinery has resulted in products produced by local companies failing to compete with cheap imports produced using modern machinery at low cost.

The companies that have been delisted from the domestic bourse include Apex Corporation Limited, Gulliver Consolidated Limited, Steelnet Limited and Cairns Holdings Limited.
Cambria, Chemco, Interfin Holdings and Trust Holdings Limited have been suspended from the stock market, while Steelnet went into liquidation after facing working capital problems.
“Most big companies have closed because of the liquidity crunch,” said Matangaidze.

“We cannot work,” he told The Financial Gazette last month.

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