Zimbabweâ€™s textiles and clothing industry is seriously weighed down by an influx of cheap imports from Asian countries and is operating under constrained capacity. However, wholesalers and retailers are reluctant to embrace the Buy Zimbabwe concept regardless of its nobleness said the Zimbabwe Textile Manufacturersâ€™ Association, secretary-general, Raymond Huni.
He said that surely, more needs to be done, as wholesalers, retailers and some shop owners prefer imported fabric than buying local produced fabric. As usual, they use wrong codes to import and make huge profits.
Compounding the problem is the fact that despite the existence of legislation banning the importation of second-hand clothing, the practice has continued unabated because authorities have failed to enforce the ban.
At its peak, the clothing and textile industry in Zimbabwe used to employ as many as 35 000 people. The number has since whittled down to below 3 000.
To promote local industry, government has been preaching the gospel of the Buy Zimbabwe concept.
There are 52 companies in the textile industry, though only 15 employ more than 70 employees, while the smallest employs five or so employees. Smaller companies are operating above 50%, while at the same time big companies are operating below 40%.
The import restrictions imposed by the government last year to protect the industry from an influx of cheap imports. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) is now effecting the gazette (import restrictions), but as industry more needed to be done.
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