HARARE – Zimbabwe’s construction industry has begun pushing for the enactment of a new law to sanitise the industry, which it says is replete with ‘fly by night’ players that are damaging the sector’s image.
Writing in the August 2019 edition of The Contractor, an industry journal, Construction Industry Federation of Zimbabwe (CIFOZ) president Harold Chinogurei, called upon government to push through the Zimbabwe Construction Contractors Council Bill, which has been on the table for 19 years.
This is despite several promises by government, including in October last year, that the draft law would be table in Parliament.
“The delay by government to send the Bill to Parliament for debate is of concern to contractors because the industry is flooded by fly-by-night companies that damage and destroy the reputation of genuine professional contractors,” Chinogurei said.
“I appeal to the parent Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to speed up the process of taking the Bill to Parliament for debate so that construction industry players operate under an Act of Parliament,” he added.
Chinogurei said if Zimbabwe entertained hopes of economic recovery, it was work toward the restoration of its infrastructure, with the construction industry playing a key role.
“Tackling our socio-economic challenges is neither quick nor for the faint of heart. The first quarter of 2019 has been affected by many challenges, mainly Cyclone Idai, which devastated Manicaland Province, and high inflation where basic commodities are beyond the reach of many. Businesses are preferring to charge for their goods and services in United States dollars, which has made prices unaffordable for many people. Citizens are not earning and / or being paid in foreign currency, making it difficult for them to transact. A shrinking economy has put citizens under pressure as opportunities for business expansion and increased employment are reduced,” the CIFOZ boss noted.
“The growth of the economy in any country is measured by infrastructure development. In addition, government should facilitate the built environment professionals to export services and earn much needed foreign currency through government to government bilateral agreements,” he noted.
According to the African Development Bank, Zimbabwe’s infrastructure requires $34 billion for the next decade.
The Bill compels the sector to establish a Construction Contractors Council, which shall regulate the industry by ensuring registration and monitoring of companies carrying out construction work in Zimbabwe.