Zimbabwe must start producing instead of being a supermarket for other countries- Khupe says


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Zimbabwe must revive its industry and start producing goods for export instead of being a supermarket for other countries, opposition legislator Thokozani Khupe told Parliament.

Contributing to the debate on the recent visit to Turkey by a Parliamentary delegation led by Speaker Jacob Mudenda, Khupe said Zimbabwe must implement what people see and learn during such visits.

“I visited Turkey with my son and what I saw there was amazing. The road network is something else. The manufacturing industry more importantly and when I saw their manufacturing industry, I thought of Bulawayo which used to be called Kontuthu Ziyathunqa,” she said.

“The reason why Bulawayo was called Kontuthu Zinyathunqa is because industry was operating 24/7. They were producing and exporting.

“If we look at Cotton Printers, National Blankets were producing blankets and exporting to other countries. G&D Shoes, our leather was the best. Merlin Towels, Cold Storage Commission and our beef was number one, first grade beef.

“You talk of cotton and tobacco, first grade. These are some of the things that we must learn from other countries when we visit those countries.”

Khupe said Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector used to contribute about 40% of the country’s foreign currency inflows “but what is happening right now? We are a supermarket of other countries”.

She said that when she went to Indonesia in 2015, the delegation was told that Indonesians wanted Zimbabwe beef because it was first grade beef but nothing had happened up to now.

“Zimbabwe is not exporting beef to Indonesia yet they are waiting for our beef. Why are we not doing that? We have got plenty of cattle or cows, why are we not exporting?” she asked.

The Cold Storage Company, the country’s largest beef processor, has been idle for almost 10 years.

The government announced two years ago that it had entered into an agreement with an investor, Boustead Beef, which was supposed to inject US$130 million to revive the CSC but the government was forced last year to place the company under corporate rescue after Boustead Beef failed to revive the company or to inject the US$45 million it was supposed to invest in the first year.

Ironically Boustead Beef, which claims that it is currently refurbishing the CSC plant to resume operations, has filed papers as the biggest creditor to the CSC.

Workers have brushed off claims that Boustead Beef is doing something at the plant as mere showboating.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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