Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Minister admits imports ban law affecting industry

By Tatenda Dewa | Harare Bureau |

Industry and Commerce minister, Joey Bimha, has hinted that Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 has had “unintended effects” on some parts of the economy.

Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha
Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha

The instrument was promulgated recently to ban the importation of 42 commodities from South Africa, among them building materials, creamers and body creams.

Addressing mainly Zanu PF supporters to mark Heroes Day recently, President Robert Mugabe defended the ban, insisting that it would protect local companies from foreign competition.

Bimha, while speaking at a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) breakfast meeting on Monday, invited players in commerce to debate the negative effects of the imports ban law.

“There could be players who are also affected negatively where you actually see a loss of jobs as a result of that policy (SI 64/16), which we call the unintended consequences of that measure,” said Bimha.

“However, what is important is to highlight those unintended consequences for us to do something about it,” he added.

Hundreds of Zimbabwean informal traders joined hands with their South African counterparts last month to picket at the Beitbridge and Musina border posts and calling for the reversal of the imports ban.

Thousands of Zimbabweans depend on the importation of a variety of goods from neighbouring counties for resale in Zimbabwe,  to counter the negative effects of unemployment that is now estimated at more than 90 percent. Nehanda Radio