HomeBusiness DigestGono slams 'zhing zhongs'

Gono slams ‘zhing zhongs’

Godfrey Marawanyika

CENTRAL bank governor Gideon Gono yesterday for the second time spoke out strongly against the influx of cheap imports from West Africa and South East Asia.

face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Instead Gono proposed a “Buy Zimbabwe” campaign, evidently an anti-zhing-zhong policy.

He said the influx of substandard foreign goods posed a huge threat to the country’s battle against inflation and industrial turnaround plans.

“This will not be tolerated, moreso as some of the purveyors of this trade are non-Zimbabweans who have come all the way from their mother countries in the region, some from West Africa, South East Asia, and beyond under the banner of the friendly relations existing and being forged between Zimbabwe and their countries,” Gono said.

“Let no one take the civility of our silence, the cordiality of relations forged or being forged between our countries, and relaxation of the past three months as a sign of weakness, despair, surrender or capitulation to the less-than honourable intentions of just a few members of societies working in collaboration with similarly a few Zimbabweans.”

In March, Gono urged government and the Standards Association of Zimbabwe to come up with a policy to protect consumers from shoddy imported products.

Over the past few years government has been lobbying the business community to focus their attention on dealing with East Asia instead of Europe and America.

However, business leaders argue that they cannot focus on the East at the exclusion of all else as this was not in the spirit of entrepreneurship.

Gono said the “Buy Zimbabwe” campaign was meant to promote consumption of locally-produced commodities.

“This aggressive promotion of local products will by no means be peculiar to Zimbabwe as empirical evidence points to the fact that many countries with enough pride to maintain solid nationhood and identity have enacted different forms of buy regulations and laws,” he said.

“The initiative is equally poised to protect the unsuspecting Zimbabwean consumers from the influx of substandard imports that have invaded and distorted a variety of our product markets.”

He said based on exchange control approvals, evidence on the ground reflects a mismatch between imported consumer goods entering the country with the volume of exchange control-approved transactions.

He said this clearly shows that the bulk of imported consumer goods, be it vehicles or raw materials, are being financed through the illegal parallel market for foreign exchange, thereby negating the efforts by the central bank to tame the destructive black market.

“Of late, it has been noted with grave concern that the recent influx of mainly clothes and other consumer goods into Zimbabwe have brought with it a variety of substandard goods thereby shortchanging the unsuspecting local consumer who rushed for such products,” he said.

“Consumption of locally-produced goods would help to create and monitor quality assurance standards to the benefit of consumers welfare.”

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