The thrust that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has put on the economy is a very positive move that deserves encouragement and support from all Zimbabweans.
Mnangagwa and his government have made it clear that the economy of Zimbabwe is priority number one in their plans and indeed the trajectory that this government has taken is unambiguously biased towards economic revival.
While it is indisputable that industries across the country had collapsed, the most heart-breaking industrial cemetery is in Bulawayo — once Zimbabwe’s industrial hub.
It is in Bulawayo therefore, that eyes will naturally be directed as we begin to measure the rate of economic revival. Zimbabwe’s second largest city had its status anchored on industry and unless we begin to see smoke rising again from those industries, it will be difficult to speak of industrial revival in the country.
Bulawayo is home to industrial giants such as PPC Zimbabwe, Arenel, National Blankets, Monarch Steel, Meprin Founders, Bottom Armature Winding Engineering, Sheppco, Zim Hosiery, Ceratrex, Nimr and Chapman, Grills Abattoirs, Ref Air Conditioning, Pump and Steel Engineering, among many other companies.
The companies we mention above have already showed significant signs of revival and would require just a little more attention from the new dispensation to get up and run.
What we are saying is that Mnangagwa’s government has a good opportunity to take Bulawayo out of the woods if they begin by putting back to full viability industries that have on their own showed effort to return to life.
Arenel factory has since diversified its operations, while Monarch Steel has recorded significant increase in export volumes.
We have seen United Refineries Limited also rising from Bulawayo’s industrial cemetery and Blue Ribbon Foods, which had shut its doors, is creeping up from the dead and creating a sizable number of jobs for Bulawayo residents.
Also from the City of Kings is the pharmaceutical giant, Datlabs Ltd, which, thanks to positive government policy measures, has recently increased its capacity from 18% in 2013 to a whopping 78% lately.
Many other companies are standing on good potential and the current government’s determination to bring the country’s comatose industry back to life should see entities such as mining and industrial equipment maker, Sheppco Group returning back to full capacity.
We also encourage government’s moves to declare Bulawayo a leather and textile Special Economic Zone as this will certainly add impetus to the city’s industrial revival.
The Mnangagwa administration has also already started moving to bring life back to some of the state enterprises that have formed part of Bulawayo’s economic narrative; the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the Cold Storage Commission.
News coming from our borders with South Africa at the weekend had it that new NRZ locomotives were seen crossing into the country. That brings the much needed lift to the spirit.