Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Government has gazetted amendments to Statutory Instrument (SI) 122 of 2017 to pave way for companies and individuals with offshore and free funds to import specified basic commodities.
Most basic commodities disappeared from shelves owing to speculative conduct by retailers and panic-buying by consumers.
In a statement last night, Industry and Commerce Minister Nqobizitha Ndhlovu announced the proclamation of Statutory Instrument 237A of 2018, amending SI 122 of 2017 that substituted SI 64 introduced in 2016, Control of Goods (Open General Import Licence).
“The Ministry of Industry and Commerce would like to advise the general public that SI 237A of 2018 has been promulgated in the Extraordinary Gazette published on the 29th of October 2018, amending SI 122 of 2017,” said Minister Ndhlovu.
Products that can now be imported include animals oils and fats (lard, tallow and dripping), baked beans, body creams, bottled water, cement, cereals, cheese, coffee creams, cooking oil, crude soya bean oil, fertiliser, finished steel roofing sheets, wheat flour and ice cream.
Those with free funds can also bring in jam, juice blends, margarine, mayonnaise, packaging materials, peanut butter, pizza base, potato crisps, salad creams, shoe polish, soap, sugar, synthetic hair products, wheelbarrows, agrochemicals and stock feeds.
Minister Ndhlovu, however, said all duties levied on the importation of these specified products will remain in force.
The decision to amend SI122 was reached by Cabinet at its sitting last week and announced by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa at a weekly media briefing.
She said as a way forward, Cabinet resolved that the Minister of Industry and Commerce temporarily amends SI122 of 2017 to allow both companies and individuals with offshore and free funds to import specified basic commodities presently in short supply pending the return to normalcy in buying patterns by people and adequate restocking by manufacturers.