AS a hardware and agricultural implements supplier operating in the countryside, we followed what Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono advocates in earning legal forex to import some of our essential requirements to remain viable. <
With that in mind, we commissioned local artists to make specifics, with a Mauritius bias for that market.
We ventured into the manufacture of lamps for the same destination and encouraged other local manufacturers to join us in filling container space by promising to assist in the marketing of their goods in Mauritius.
Over the past year, I have flown across four times at my own expense to promote all these Zimbabwean brands.
I successfully introduced “Zimbabwe made”, and pride myself on having captured our ever-increasing share of that highly-competitive market.
We were all growing together, resulting in shorter periods between exports. Of late, orders have grown with some of the participants supplying full container loads of doors and suitcases.
For our part, we participated in six successful exports, contributed forex to the auction and the RBZ, leaving the balances to import our essentials.
Gono’s RBZ has now chosen to turn down our last application to import using our hard-earned balance of forex. Reason given: “not essentials”, with no explanation or recourse!
This has forced us to stop the manufacture of lamps and deprived us of cable and electrical switches needed, none of which are available in Zimbabwe, leaving us with hundreds of unfinished lamps, now not good for export.
It has also denied us the goods needed for the viability of our hardware/agricultural outlets. Worst of all, 40 skilled employees’ futures are somewhat battered and uncertain.
I on my part shall unfortunately no longer be going and returning with the orders that my fellow Zimbabwean manufacturers have come to rely upon.
You Sir (Gono) have taken away all my little forex and incentives. I am left totally disillusioned as to what you really want of us (exporters). Where to now?