The government of Zimbabwe has temporarily repealed the SI 122 of 2017, the statutory instrument restricted the importation of some products such as cooking oil, construction material, dairy products and toothpicks, to boost local capacity and save foreign currency. This means imports aren’t allowed into the country without an import licence as a requirement.
Addressing the press, Minister of Information Monica Mutsvangwa said that Cabinet had a sit down today to evaluate the current economic situation that has resulted in food shortages and panic buying amongst the people of Zimbabwe.
“On the issue of price hikes and depressed availability of basic commodities and medical drugs, after listening to the report by the Minister of Industry and Commerce on the prevailing price situation and availability of fuel, Cabinet has noted concern that basic commodities continue to be in short supply despite increased production by suppliers,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.
“As a way forward Cabinet has resolved that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce temporarily amends SI 122 of 122 to allow both companies and individuals to import specified commodities currently in short supply,” she added.
As a resolution thee Cabinet specified the commodities that are going to be allowed for imports.
“With immediate effect there will will be importation of animal oils(fats,lard) , body creams, bottled water, cereal,cement,cheese, coffee creamers, cooking oil, fertilizers, wheat flour,ice cream, juice blends, margarine, salad cream, packaging materials, peanut butter, potato chips, shoe polish, sugar, synthetic hair products, wheelbarrow (and parts) and stockfeeds will be allowed,” she said.
The government will continue to allocate forex to different sectors so that they acquire commodities amid the festive season.
The intended purpose of the SI 122 was to accelerate the import substitution drive which would ensure the increased use of local factors of production for the country’s industrialisation.
However, amending of the statutory instrument will affect productivity in all value chains, and affect the local industry thus becoming counter productive and with the economies of scale in Zimbabwe local products can not compete on the world market. The current trade deficit has increased by 17%.