By Freeman Razemba
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga met a high-powered delegation from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of South Africa keen to invest in Zimbabwe at his Munhumutapa Offices in Harare yesterday.
The delegation comprised officials from Guma Group owned by South African tycoon Mr Robert Matana Gumede. Mr Gumede was in Zimbabwe recently to cement a $1, 2 billion investment deal in key sectors of the economy.
Mr Gumede is the founder and executive chairman of Guma Group.
In an interview after meeting VP Chiwenga, Mr Eric Langalakhe Mahamba Sithole, who is responsible for Functional Champion (Rest of Africa) at IDC, said they were keen to invest in various sectors of the economy.
“We are here to explore opportunities, further invest in this country in the various sectors of this economy. We came to meet the Vice President who showed a lot of support to this initiative. He welcomed us very warmly and assured our counterparts here, the IDC of Zimbabwe, that they have his full support,” he said.
“We are looking to invest in many sectors. But at the moment we are looking at chemical beneficiation in terms of fertiliser processing and will go on to other sectors such as tourism, hotels and agro beneficiation, among others.”
IDC Zimbabwe board chairman Mr Herbert Nkala said as business they were implementing the wishes of President Mnangagwa.
“The President has said to the world that Zimbabwe is open for investment and us as businesspeople are at the forefront of implementing the wish and desire by our President. There are people who say talk is cheap and what we are seeing today (yesterday) is the actual manifestation of that wish by the President,” said Mr Nkala.
Mr Nkala said IDC South Africa was probably the biggest industrial investor in Africa.
Guma Group business development executive Mr Emmanuel Charumbira said they going to visit Zimbabwe Phosphate Industries (ZimPhos) and Chemplex Corporation, which are in dire need of resuscitation and investment.
“As was our commitment, a week and a half ago when the Guma Group visited Zimbabwe with our executive chairman Mr Robert Gumede. We made a commitment to his Excellency the President, His Excellency the Vice President and the Governor of the Reserve Bank that our first mandate will be to quickly mobilise funding for various institutions that require urgent cash injections in their projects,” he said.
The director of a local company, Brookes Enterprises, Mr Samson Paul who is also a Guma Group representative in the country, said Mr Gumede was in the process of mobilising more South African institutions to invest in Zimbabwe.
President Mnangagwa visited South Africa in December last year and assured investors that Zimbabwe was open for investment.