Mash East lagging behind in establishing Special Economic Zones

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By Mashonaland East Correspondent

Marondera: GOVERNMENTS departments and local councils in Mashonaland East, have been criticised for not taking advantage of the policy on Special Economic Zones (SECs) to attract investors.

Special Economic Zones, are areas designated with different business and trade laws from the rest of the country in order to attract foreign direct investment.

However, Belinda Chimudzi an official with the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (ZimSeza) said Mashonaland East was lagging behind compared to other provinces in setting up such areas.

“You need to move with speed on this one because you are yet to accomplish anything for the construction or implementation of these economic zones,” Chimudzi said at a meeting in the farming town of Marondera.

In response, Mashonaland East resident minister, Apollonia Munzverengwi said the province will now meet twice a week for updates on progress made in setting up the economic zones.

“There is need to work together and play our roles seriously. We are lagging behind in terms of implementation and let’s focus on the pointers that take us to another level in as far as these zones are concerned.

“We want Mashonaland East to be a satellite for the capital, Harare, and help in decongesting it,” she said.

Sites that have been identified for establishing the SECs are Timberlands and Marondera industrial area, Swadfontein Estate in Chivhu and Juru Growth Point in Murewa.

The technical team for the establishment of the SECs include the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Environmental Management Agency, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, local councils, Ministry of Mines and the department of physical planning.

Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono is chairperson of the ZimSeza.