Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Development minister Sithembiso Nyoni has ordered the eviction of illegal settlers on industrial properties allocated to small businesses.
BY REJOICE CHINGWARU
Speaking at a meeting with SMEs under the banner Epworth Community Enterprise Resource Centre, Nyoni ordered the eviction of residents, whose properties were illegally built on land meant for the small businesses.
“I am informed that members of Epworth Home Industries Association were allocated stands in 2014, which they paid for and were given agreements of sale, but the stands have since been invaded by illegal settlers and I am, therefore, calling upon Epworth Local Board to assist the SMEs by removing illegal settlers, so that the rightful owners can start developing their stands,” she said.
The resource centre was recently equipped with heavy carpentry and metal work machinery worth $135 000, which was donated by the European Union in 2012 to improve the quality of products from SMEs.
Nyoni implored Epworth Local Board and power utility Zesa to work together to ensure that the centre gets electricity before the end of December to help capacitate SMEs.
“The centre will contribute to the growth of SMEs, who are into carpentry, metal fabrication and machining, to increase production, improve the quality of their products and be more competitive,” Nyoni said.
The meeting was attended by Harare Provincial Affairs minister Miriam Chikukwa and Energy deputy minister Tsitsi Muzenda. Muzenda said her ministry would do everything possible to ensure the installation of electricity at the centre.
“SMEs should be promoted and my ministry will see to it that electricity is installed in order to kickstart the operation of the centre,” she said.