Zim imports water, toothpicks

ZIMBABWE’S import products list is growing and now includes water and toothpicks which Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha said should be procured locally.


Bimha told a meeting of retailers and wholesalers on Friday that a number of products from the Open General Import License had been removed to reduce some of the imports coming into the country.

“How can we, as a nation import water, toothpicks, plastics to mention but a few? Surely, we can do better than this,” Bimha on Friday told a meeting of retailers and wholesalers.

Bimha said his ministry had toured different retail and wholesale outlets to observe the percentage of shelve space occupied by local products as compared to imports.

The tour showed that the average space allocated to local products in wholesale shops was 70% and 49% in retail shops.

“In our visits around we found that there were differences. In some wholesalers or supermarkets there is more of imports than locally-produced goods, you go to the next one and it is the opposite you find more of local products than imports,” Bimha said.

“The issue is why and that is because it is a management decision that is made so the issue of imports or not is a question of management.”

Government wants to curtail imports and boost local industries.

It says restrictions on imports would increase capacity within the local industry and as a result will enjoy economies of scale in their production processes, leading to a reduction in the unit cost of production. This would ultimately lead to a reduction in the price of final product.

“We have set up a committee that comprises of ministry officials and representatives of the private sector which will be evaluating applications for imports before recommending the same to us for approval,” Bimha said.

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  1. products such as dishwash & other detergents should not be imported as well. Sunlight is coming from SA if they want it here they should come & produce t here

  2. A litre of locally purified water costs $1.

  3. How do you produce anything without a reliable power supply?

  4. Nyaya yabatirwa padumbu iyi. The question is who owns most of these outlets. The answer is foreign nationals. So they will always support their home economies. The Chinese are the biggest culprits. At Horizon Ivato Supermaket, they waited for over a month for carrier bags from China. They could not even buy locally even for the short term. So you were forced to buy more of the small bags available. So such arrogance is across the board.

  5. Guys lets be honest here..getting these things from SA isnt a problem..the major issue is that Zims industry is dead and buried..this is therefore opening gaps for other imports to be brought in.in most cases,those that are producing locally ,take advantage of the lical folks to produce goods of poor quality and that further pushes people to even go and buy for themselves in SA.lets get down to basics and make sure that all our industries are running and i tell you,even the biggest things,we can produce.. Zimbabwe is one country which is rich with resources that we can use to produce any items..we just need to stand on our feet and start kicking again..

  6. question is, does the local industry hv the capacity to to produce wat the market want.. the only way they cn be an able local industry is if the gvt creates an environment tht is conducive n secure for foreign investors to setup n operate without fear of victimization n loss of their investmnt. until then we will continue being an importing econony and boasting other economies.

    1. Fiasco, you just took the words out of my mouth. The Zanu PF government must be held accountable for this whole mess. Period. Don’t look further.

  7. open up the industries and let market forces determine all these things. in any case the local bottled water is not clean, why would we be forced to drink dirty water when we can get clean water from outside the country?

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