Chinamasa to open Gweru Agric show amid collapsed, battling industry

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has been named the top official to officially open this year’s edition of the Gweru Agricultural Show where his daunting task will be to explain what Government is doing to revive collapsed and battling industry in the province.

He will also be expected to extensively outline the state’s plan to revive the failing economy when he delivers his key note address. The four day long show kick-starts on 31 August.

Adressing a press conference in the city today, Patrick Chedamana, the show society’s chairperson of the marketing sub-committee, told journalists that the finance minister will have a one-on-one engagement with captains of industry and the business community at a conference that will be held at a local motel on 1 August.

“The guest of honour for this year is Finance Minister Chinamasa. He will officially open the show on August 2 but the previous evening he will have met the business and industry sectors on a no holds barred conference. At that event he will present a paper on the topic: ‘What is the Government doing to assist small businesses grow.’

“It is our profound belief that the topic will provoke interesting questions and so it will be a good platform for people in industry and the business in general to know where the country is and where it is going in terms of the economy,” he said.

Chedemana added that the topic for the finance minister is drawn from the theme of the show dubbed; “Creating an enabling economic environment.”

A number of companies mostly in the provincial capital of Gweru, have either closed down completely or downsized operations lately due to the economic meltdown. Those most affected are Zimcast, Zimalloys, Fort Concrete, Powercell and David Whitehead which have shut down completely and therefore rendering thousands of employees jobless.

Those operating at below 50% capacity production are Bata Shoe Company, Dairy Board Zimbabwe and Delta. In the past all these companies used to give Gweru the hub of industry status.

The situation has resulted in hordes of people resorting to the inform market where it seems everyone is trying to sell something for another. Due to the difficult times, the sector is also struggling and still the people battle to survive.

Though a total of 140 companies are understood to have registered to exhibit at the show, the figure is lower than expected in a stable economy where hundreds of investors stampede to showcase their products.

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