Govt contracts French firm to inspect quality of imports

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by VENERANDA LANGA

INDUSTRY and Commerce deputy minister Chiratidzo Mabuwa has disclosed that government has contracted a French company, Bureau Veritas, to help inspect the quality of imports at the country’s ports of entry to guard against importation of harmful products.

Mabuwa announced the development during question-and-answer session in the Senate last Thursday.

Mashonaland Central MP Damian Mumvuri (Zanu PF) had asked the deputy minister to explain steps her ministry was taking to protect local industry, especially horticulture from an influx of substandard foreign products and foodstuffs that had genetically modified organism components (GMO).

“We will issue import licences after noticing a gap between supply and demand of a certain product and we will promote pre-inspection of goods that will land in Zimbabwe,” Mabuwa said.

“We are in the process of implementing a contract that we signed with a French company called Bureau Veritas for pre-inspection of goods that are intended to land in Zimbabwe in order for us not only to protect our markets, but also to protect our people from hazardous products that land in the country through our border posts.”

She said the roll out of the programme would run until September, which will be a teething phase to check if it was going to work well.

“Before the end of this year, 2015, we will put a cut-off point to say that there is pre-inspection that is required before products land in the country. After that, I am sure we are not going to be seeing a lot of these substandard products flooding the markets.”

She appealed to Zimbabweans to refrain from consuming imports and buy local products.

“We should promote Buy Zimbabwe. This has been an annual event where the products of Zimbabwe are promoted,” she said.

Mabuwa said in June there would be a convention in Victoria Falls to discuss advantages of buying locally-produced goods in order to grow the economy.

Recently, local farmers have been complaining of failure to get markets for their produce as most supermarkets and vegetable vending places were filled with mostly South African produce.

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