The conference, attended by MDC-T Matabeleland- based cabinet ministers and legislators, were held under the theme “Working Together To Re-industrialise Bulawayo”.
The province said it would forward the resolutions to its National Executive with a view of moving a motion in parliament and tabling it in Cabinet for action.
However, two months ago Cabinet set a seven-member ministerial task force committee chaired by Industry and Commerce minister, Welshman Ncube to look at possibilities of reviving Bulawayo’s industrial sector that has virtually collapsed.
Scores of firms have closed shop in Bulawayo, which was once the country’s industrial hub with around 75% of manufacturing activity centred in the city, citing lack of access to capital and perennial water shortages.
Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo said the closure of industries was an act of sabotage. “There has been no substantial policy response from government and the business sector.
“The response to this challenge would be solved when financial decisions are moved from Harare and decentralised.
“It is highly possible that the de-industrialisation in Bulawayo could be a calculated act of sabotage by some decision-makers in government and business,” Moyo said.
He demanded a clear government supported action plan with “unambiguous strategies of how it intends to stop closure of factories”.
Although Moyo acknowledged the setting up of a Cabinet committee, he said “there is no urgency to come up with concrete measures to revive the industries.”
Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals, Gorden Moyo, who is also MDC -T Bulawayo provincial chairman said the resolutions taken are pro-poor as the party is not for capitalists.
“We will present the document to the Cabinet task force,” he said. “As we control parliament we will force the house to debate the issues of Matabeleland.”
However, Bulawayo-based economist Eric Bloch said although he was deeply concerned about de-industrialisation of Bulawayo, it is a misconception that the city was the only one affected.
“It’s not just a Bulawayo problem but a national one. It’s a misconception because Bulawayo has always been the industrial hub but industries in Harare are also struggling.
“The solution is the recovery of the Zimbabwe economy as a whole” Bloch said.