GWERU Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube has disclosed Gweru and Mutare firms would be the next beneficiaries of the government-sponsored Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) after Bulawayo.
Ncube, who heads the Dimaf Cabinet task force, told journalists in Gweru over the weekend the government had already mobilised $30 million to bail out distressed firms in the two cities.
An estimated 60 of the 80 companies that had closed down in Bulawayo were set to benefit from the first tranche of $40 million being disbursed by CABS.
Our next target after Bulawayo is Mutare and Gweru and $30 million has been set aside for industries in those cities, but we are still looking for more money, said Ncube.
We have targeted these high-impact areas because they have sideway and upper linkages with other industries.
For example Bata in Gweru has an impact on so many areas and if we manage to revive all these industries, the economy begins to tick.
Mutare specialises on wood and paper, so we have planned to rescue industries there. Gweru has four major companies reportedly in dire straits.
They are ZimAlloys, Zimglass, Zimcast and David Whitehead.
We started with Bulawayo because it has always been the industrial base and hub of the country, Ncube said.
Dimaf is a national fund set up by the government. It is a concept or basket where something should be put in. It will be funded mostly by banks.