ZIMBABWE Sugar Refineries (ZSR) chief executive officer Pattison Sithole is the new Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president, taking over from Dairibord Zimbabwe boss Antony Mandi
Sithole was elected at the CZI conference held in Victoria Falls last week.
In an interview with businessdigest, Sithole said his mandate as incoming president was to strengthen the industrial group and help resuscitate the crumbling manufacturing sector.
“I want to strengthen the organisation so that it continues to be the country’s leading voice for industry and to strengthen the committees too,” Sithole said. “We want to continue to promote dialogue among stakeholders. We will continue to contribute to the making of a proper monetary policy that delivers value to industry.”
He said his major challenge was to improve the manufacturing capacity which has gone down by 35% during the past five years. The utilisation capacity has also plunged to below 40% during the same period.
Out-going president Mandiwanza said he was confident the new leadership would continue to deliver value to members. He said his major achievement during his tenure was the clearance of the CZI debt and resuscitation of talks with government.
Secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Wellington Chibebe said the appointment of Sithole was welcome but labour would still encourage the CZI to pay decent salaries.
“We congratulate Sithole. However, it does not mean that if there is Sithole or an angel, strikes will not happen,” Chibebe said.
“Business must be prepared to pay what is due to workers. But strikes are always the last resort of workers as we prefer to have dialogue with them.”