Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Senior Reporter
Businesses must stop the unwarranted price increases through taking advantage of global inflationary pressures, but should strengthen linkages to promote the local manufacturing sector, President Mnangagwa has said.
The President said this while commissioning the US$20 million state-of-the-art Highland Park Shopping Mall in Harare yesterday.
“I wish to urge the business community to remain ethical in their conduct in the wake of emerging global inflationary pressures affecting our economic environment. The unwarranted price increases we have witnessed from some manufacturers and retailers must stop,” he said.
“The development of shopping malls such as Highland Park provides scope for increased production by our local manufacturing sector. In this regard, I exhort the retail sector to strengthen its linkages with the productive sectors of our economy so that we promote a culture of manufacturing in Zimbabwe in order to ensure our consumers can buy locally produced goods.”
The first phase of the Highland Park Shopping Mall will be occupied by 23 retail shops comprising retail giant, Pick n Pay and many other small and medium enterprises.
The project created employment for over 450 locals during the construction phase and is expected to create an additional 220 permanent jobs once it becomes operational.
President Mnangagwa said the continued faith that investors were showing in the economy was a clear testimony of the improved ease and cost of doing business being championed by the Second Republic.
“This particular project, which is along one of the development corridors designated by the City of Harare, will contribute to the city’s quest to attain a smart city status.
“It is undoubtedly a key initiative by the private sector, which complements Government efforts in increasing our stock of infrastructure as well as uplifting the standard of living for our populace, through increased employment opportunities,” he said.
To complement the progress being recorded, the President urged City of Harare to improve the infrastructure along other development corridors, while at the same time enhancing access to water, refuse collection and upgrading the road network.
He also expressed hope that more investments would be made towards similar projects across the country in line with Government’s devolution thrust and Vision 2030.
Businesses that will occupy space at Highland Park Mall expressed excitement at the new prospects presented by the retail space.
“We are excited to open up our new Café Nush branch at Highland Park. We are happy to offer better services and that we will provide new jobs for the people,” said Ms Deena Magan.
Pariah State finance director, Mr Bongai Zamchiya said: “We are excited by this modern retail space and we look forward to providing a quality environment and fantastic meals and beverages to Harare’s diners.”
Harare East shadow MP Mavis Gumbo said the creation of jobs was a major boost for the Harare East Constituency and expressed hope for more investments of that nature.
“This is something very good. It will boost the Harare East constituency and I am personally happy about this.
“This development created 400 jobs, which is impressive and we are grateful to the investors. We need more of this type of investment here in Harare East,” she said.