BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
SHEPCO Group chief executive officer, Shepherd Chawira has been elected president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Matabeleland chapter and he says his first port of call will be to lobby government to fully liberalise the interbank market for foreign currency.
He was elected alongside Raymond Shoniwa of Beitbridge Bulawayo Railway and Elector Mafunga of the National Railways of Zimbabwe as first and second vice-presidents, respectively.
In his acceptance speech at the chapter’s annual general meeting held in Bulawayo yesterday, Chawira said they will continue engaging government both directly and through the national council on issues affecting businesses in the region.
“We will continue lobbying government and other stakeholders for an environment which will enable us to thrive and grow our businesses,” he said.
Chawira said they would be working tirelessly to make sure that special economic zones were implemented.
“(We will) lobby for the availing of foreign currency for the industry through the interbank market and allow for proper functioning of the interbank forex market by allowing the market to determine the rates and avoid government participation on the market,” he said.
The chamber will also lobby for the re-introduction and widening of Statutory Instrument 122 to allow industries to grow their capacity utilisation “as this has proved to be a key driver to increasing capacity utilisation”.
“We will continue to lobby government to give a listening ear to businesses; you can’t have a healthy economy without healthy businesses,” he said.
His term of office begins next month and at the moment, Joseph Gunda will continue as the chamber’s president till then.