Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE proposed US$2 million diaper manufacturing plant in Bulawayo has fallen through due to failure to secure an undisclosed amount of foreign currency to import raw materials.
Masters Diapers Zimbabwe director Mr Nigam Desai, whose envisaged project was the first of its kind in the city, told Business Chronicle last week that they would this week start working on paper work to repatriate machines.
This follows the lapse of a 30-day period to May 21, 2019, which their investor, a Mauritian company had given them to show progress of the project rather than keeping the equipment lying idle. “On Monday (today), we will start paper work to get the machine returned,” he said.
Recently, he told this paper that they held a meeting with their foreign investor who expressed concern on over the delay of the project in going ahead highlighting that it was almost a year with the machines lying idle.
In light of the prevailing forex shortages, Masters Diapers Zimbabwe has in the past made several attempts but to no avail to secure foreign currency allocation from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ). Pulp, tapes and glue are some of the raw materials Masters Diapers Zimbabwe required hard cash to import from countries such as America, India, China, and Singapore.
RBZ introduced the interbank forex market in February this year with a view to improve accessibility of the much-needed currency to local companies.
However, the business community including the country’s manufacturing sector representative body, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries has raised concerns that the interbank forex market platform was not efficient as firms found it difficult to access hard cash from banks. — @okazunga