By Thupeyo Muleya
Vice President Kembo Mohadi has challenged businessmen across the country to invest in meat-related industries in Beitbridge District where livestock production is one of the major economic activity.
He said the district’s economy was anchored on cattle ranching, tourism and cross border trade.
The Vice President said supporting the thriving cattle industry in Beitbridge would enhance the creation of meat related industries within the distirct.
He made the call in a speech read on his behalf by Matabeleland South’s Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Cde Abednico Ncube on Friday, at an event held to celebrate the town’s attainment of municipality status.
“This district has two abattoirs, which at their peak slaughtered at least 100 beast per day. Have we ever thought where the hides go? This provides an opportunity to establish a tannery to process the hides for sale,” said Vice President Mohadi.
“Beitbridge is a livestock district as evidenced by the number of herd we have, the thriving butcheries and abattoirs in both the rural and urban areas.
“There is no industry to process the hides into leather products — these are transported elsewhere or disposed into the environment.
“Business people gathered here should see this as an opportunity to invest in beef processing within the Municipality.”
It is estimated that there are 200 000 cattle, 145 000 goats, 60 000 sheep, 37 000 donkeys and 2 000 pigs in the district.
He said businessmen should also explore the various opportunities in the tourism and crossborder trading sectors within Beitbridge district.
According to Vice President Mohadi, the municipality status has consolidated Beitbridge as one of the fasted growing towns in Zimbabwe.
“Within just over 10 years after the establishment of a town council, the town has moved to attain municipal status, in the process becoming the second municipality in Matabeleland South Province after Gwanda.
“It is also important that we appreciate the role played by Government to get the town to this level through the National Economic Development Priority Programme (NEDPP),” he said
Vice President Mohadi said Government had also committed $14 million to upgrading the border post and that efforts were underway to put up an airport in the town.
“If these plans come to fruition we may soon talk of Beitbridge becoming a city,” said the Vice President.
He attributed the town’s rapid growth to collective stakeholders’ efforts.
“I am glad that as the people of Beitbridge you have made a difference in this beautiful and strategic town. We also need to work together in promoting the town as an investment destination of choice.
“Beitbridge is strategically located in terms of transportation and movement of goods and people in and out of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Echoing the same sentiments was Pastor Savious Muleya of the Kingdom Light Global Ministries (KLGM), who called on Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to pool resources and take advantage of investment opportunities in the country.
Beitbridge Mayor Councillor Showa Moyo said the local authority had adopted an aggressive marketing strategies to accelerate infrastructure development and to improve the quality of service delivery.