A NUMBER of business leaders in Bulawayo are planning to come together and form a bank, headquartered in the city, for the benefit of the industry.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Speaking at the Bulawayo Investment Conference held in the city on Friday, former Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president, Busisa Moyo, said industry in Bulawayo was suffering due to absence of financial services headquartered in the city.
“. . . we must have a vibrant financial services centre. We need financial services that are focused on Bulawayo and it in this regard I think it is a time that there was a bank that is headquartered in Bulawayo,” he said amid applause from delegates.
“We need a bank that is focused on the city and we would be collaborating with a few colleagues to see if we can get a licence so that we can develop it. There is no economy that has ever developed without the support of a vibrant, active, engaged, creative financial services offered and we need that for the city.”
Moyo said businesses should also explore other forms of investments such as business engine investments, private funding, crowd funding and private equity funding, among others.
He said industry in Bulawayo needed acceleration of the inclusive process around anchor projects in the city.
“It’s important that we dialogue and discuss. It’s good that deals are being signed, but as Bulawayo, we would like to participate before deals are signed so that we are involved, so that we participate and we contribute because we live here,” Moyo said.
“We need fully resourced government offices that operate in Bulawayo that can issue permits and documents in Bulawayo. A young person wanting to start a business in a particular area will not have the resources to always go up to Harare to chase after a permit. This is not an offence to Harare or a complaint, this is just pointing out to the fact that we can do better if we had fully resourced.”
He said if all those interventions were implemented, doing business would be faster, better and more viable without incurring costs.
Moyo applauded the Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development ministry for decentralising its services to Bulawayo.
“But there are still other ministries where we need assistance in getting these offices to be fully functionally,” he said. “We need a decentralised tender board. When we are applying for tenders, all of them are centralised even for tenders that are here. That may need to be adjusted so that we are faster and we participate,” Moyo said.
He said industry in Bulawayo was in dire need of foreign currency for it to survive.