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Pressure groups fight foreign businesses

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Youth empowerment pressure group Upfumi Kuvadiki/Inotho Kwabatsha and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) have demanded the eviction of Nigerian and Chinese businesspeople from Bulawayo accusing them of taking away retail business.

Addressing students at Bulawayo Polytechnic on Wednesday, Upfumi Kuvadiki president Alson Darikayi said youths should “rise up, in line with the indigenisation laws” against foreign-owned businesses who have “invaded” the city’s retail sector.

“We do not want the Chinese, Nigerians, Indians who bring in sick capital. Foreigners should get out. In a couple of weeks, we will make sure we nicely force them out,” he said.

Darikai said the retail sector was a preserve for indigenous entrepreneurs.

“While we support the Look East Policy and respect the diplomatic relations we share with other African countries, our position remains the same. The retail sector must be reserved and preserved for locals as opening up the sector to foreigners is treacherous and ill-advised,” Darikayi said.

“We need Chinese solidarity but we cannot have these erstwhile friends coming to cook sadza with offals for us and after that take tooth picks, and then we think, ‘Here are investors’. In economic terms, we are crowded out by people bringing sick capital into these sectors.”

The ZCTU western region on Wednesday also demonstrated against foreign-owned retail businesses.
“We are concerned about the Nigerians and other foreigners who own a large percentage of the business sector,” ZCTU western region chairperson Reason Ngwenya said.

“It is at a time when there is no employment and 90% of potential Zimbabwean workers are finding it hard to survive. Foreigners come here with their monies and easily get buildings, so what will then happen to Zimbabweans?”

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