A BUSINESS dinner dubbed “Bulawayo must survive” has been set for Bulawayo on Saturday as the Christian community in the city joins the crusade to seek the revival of the second capital, Southern Eye Business can reveal.
The Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe says it is hosting the dinner at the Zimbabwe International Trade grounds as part of efforts to pave the way for the city’s economic revival.
According to Rev Nathan Nhira, the church’s provincial chairperson who is also chief executive officer for Adhesive Products Manufacturers (Pvt) Ltd, the dinner would give participants the forum to discuss and brainstorm on how Bulawayo could reclaim its top spot as the industrial hub of Zimbabwe.
“As Zimbabwe’s economy begins to recover from the harsh economic conditions and sluggish industrial performance experienced in the last decade, our beloved city, Bulawayo, is literally gasping for survival,” Nhira said.
“Among all cities and towns yearning for help in this country, none are screaming louder than Bulawayo and indeed for genuine and good reasons. Factories have collapsed in record numbers, the Belmont industrial area, once the envy of Africa as Zimbabwe’s industrial hub has been reduced to a sorry wasteland.
“Empty buildings are now a common sight in Bulawayo’s industrial sites with firms continuing to close, downsize or relocate to the capital for better opportunities.
“Workers have lost jobs, families are in distress, small enterprises are battling to survive, and indeed the local economy has been left comatose.”
Nhira said because of harsh economic situation in the country, the city’s population had decreased due to migration, adding that it was on this basis the Christian sector in Bulawayo decided to organised the “Bulawayo must survive” event.
The minister of State for Bulawayo province, Eunice Sandi Moyo and Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo are expected to grace the occasion to feature the chief executive officers of African Sun Hotels and Zimplow Holdings, Shingi Munyeza and Zondi Kumwenda, respectively.
The dinner comes at a time when more than 100 companies in Bulawayo have closed shop or relocated to Harare due to severe economic hardships.
As of July last year, more than 20 companies have been put under judicial management while more than 10 others were facing liquidation in Bulawayo.