Story by Davison Vandira
The narrative that sanctions are targeted has once again been proved to be a fallacy after the latest addition of Larfage Cement shareholders on the list, in a move which threatens the entire construction industry value chain.
On the 12th of December this year, the United States of America, Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Mr Obey Chimuka the proprietor of Fossil Agro and Contracting, the company that owns Larfage Cement, an action that has had an immediate negative impact on the operations of the firm.
Consequently, the dire indirect socio-economic impact of these illegal sanctions is now threatening to cripple the entire construction sector as Larfage is a key supplier of cement to the sector, supporting massive projects, including the rehabilitation of the Beitbridge-Chirundu highway which requires hundreds of tonnes of cement and also demands from housing development which is currently booming.
According to development economist Mr Titus Mukove, the latest sanctions on Larfage owners will bite Zimbabweans in many ways and more importantly it will increase the cost of production for the commodity.
“Direct effects on the company will be constraints on capacity utilisation as it may slow down production and productivity and this has started to manifest. There is also the danger of potentially increasing cost of production which makes the price of the product to be high and relatively expensive in relation to competitors’ prices,” he said.
Since its inception, the Second Republic has been on a drive to bust the economic sanctions through inward-looking policies and positive gains have been established in this regard.
While speaking at the National Thanksgiving and Dedication Service in Bulawayo this Friday, Acting President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga assured Zimbabweans that the country will not collapse under the illegal sanctions imposed by the West, as the country is exploiting its natural resources to build the economy.