Zanu-PF rules out conspiracy in Bulawayo companies closure
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In an interview with Chronicle in Lupane on Thursday, Mavhaire said the demise of Bulawayo's economy should be viewed in the context of economic viability, which should not be mixed with politics.
The city has in the past few years witnessed the closure of close to 100 companies with some relocating to Harare, leaving thousands jobless.
Mavhaire, however, admitted that while Bulawayo remains the country's favourable industrial centre given its inherent economic advantages, things were not all rosy in the firms.
"Yes the issue of the closure of Bulawayo companies is at stake. You need to understand that industries were not established in Bulawayo by accident. It was out of realisation that the city has a good market and is closely linked to South Africa for transportation of raw materials and trade.
"Before complaining we need to first of all understand the root problem for this. Let us not mix politics here, but look at the issue of economic viability," said Mavhaire, the former Governor for Masvingo Province.
"The market is there in Bulawayo and raw materials are also there. The major problem that is frustrating everything is financing.
"There is no conspiracy on this issue, as this is a nationwide problem. The money has not been forthcoming and almost all the cities in the country have experienced company closures".
Mavhaire urged businesspeople and entrepreneurs from Matabeleland region and Bulawayo in particular, to work hard and take advantage of the region's vast natural resources to revamp the city's economy.
"Most raw materials for industry such as coal, gas, timber, livestock and wildlife are found in Matabeleland and no one can dispute that. We need to avoid being cry babies and focus on the potential that this region has," he said.
"We are under sanctions as a country and like other states we went through a recession. For now our people must sit down and find out how best we can revamp these companies. This game of blame shifting has to stop. Let people stand up and make things happen".
He said companies that are relocating to Harare would not enjoy the favourable business environment they are enjoying in Bulawayo.
Said Mavhaire: "It does not make any sense for instance to relocate Hunyani to Harare when all the timber for the paper industry is found in Matabeleland".
He said the development of the city's industry was closely linked with improved agricultural production.
"We had a serious drought in Matabeleland, but that is not new. We are in Region Five and we will never have more rains like Manicaland. Matabeleland is a livestock zone, but over the years there has been a shift on that and you find people complaining about cropping inputs.
"Our strength is livestock and people from the region should be talking about improving livestock protection, breeding and marketing. This will impact on the operations of the Cold Storage Company, which would breathe life to a whole range of downstream industries".
Mavhaire's remarks come at a time when Bulawayo residents are seeking an explanation as to why companies that have been operating in the city for decades are closing shop and relocating to Harare.
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