Government has put in place stringent regulations meant to control the importation of goods that are available locally. The regulations were gazetted under Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 yesterday by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The goods that have been literally banned include coffee creamers (Cremora), Camphor creams, white petroleum jellies and body creams.
Goods categorised as builders ware like wheelbarrows (flat pan and concrete pan wheelbarrows), structures and parts of structures of iron or steel (bridges and bridges section, lock gates, towers, lattice masts, roofs, roofing frameworks, doors, windows and their frames and threshold for doors, shutters, balustrade, pillars and columns) and plates, rods, angles, shapes section and tubes prepared for use in structures of iron and steel ware, are also on the list of the restricted products.
The SI also controls the importation of plastic pipes and fittings, flat-rolled products of iron or non-alloy steel (of a width of 600mm or more), clad plated or coated and corrugated steel roofing sheets.
The long list also includes furniture, baked beans and potato crisps, cereals, bottled water, mayonnaise, salad cream, peanut butter, jams, maheu, canned fruits and vegetables, pizza base, yoghurts, flavoured milks, dairy juice blends, ice-creams, cultured milk and cheese.
Importation of second-hand tyres (all re-treaded or used pneumatic tyres of rubber), baler and binder twine, fertilizers (urea and ammonium nitrate), compounds and blends, tile adhesive and tylon, shoe polish, synthetic hair products are also in the list of products whose importation has been banned.
The list further includes the following-flash doors, beds, wardrobes, dining room suites, office furniture and tissue wading. Woven fabrics of cotton (containing 85 percent or more by weight of cotton, weighing not more than 200g per square metre classified under the headings 5208 and 5209 of the customs tariff) have also been banned.
Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said the move was meant to support our local industry. The Buy Zimbabwe campaign held a summit in June last year aimed at promoting the purchase of local products and services saying this would enable local businesses to grow, thereby encouraging economic growth and job creation.
“Buying locally manufactured goods – whether it involves purchasing machinery worth millions or even just a T-shirt – begins a cycle in which you re-invest money into the local economy, instead of spending it on an imported product and sending the money outbound.
“Spending your money on a Zimbabwean product means you also help keep the worker who made that product in their job. When you buy local you help create jobs and, in turn, help alleviate poverty,” said Buy Zimbabwe economist Ms Vandudzai Zirebwa.