The Second Republic’s policies on devolution and improving the ease of doing business have lured multi-million investments into Mashonaland Central.
Notable investors are fertiliser manufacturing company Fertiliser Seed and Grain, Invictus Energy Limited now prospecting for gas and oil in Mbire-Muzarabani, and several mining giants including Eureka Gold Mine, Freda Rebecca, Shamva Gold Mine and Bindura Nickel Corporation.
The latest addition is Chilmund Chemicals (Pvt) Limited, which manufactures water treatment chemical aluminium sulphate in a new plant commissioned by President Mnangagwa recently.
Chilmund Chemicals was established by Zimbabweans who took advantage of investment opportunities availed by the Second Republic, in line with President Mnangagwa’s “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo”.
Its production capacity is 10 tonnes per hour of granular sulphate and 20 tonnes per hour of liquid aluminium sulphate, enough to supply the whole country and export to the region.
Aluminium sulphate is one of the primary three treatment chemicals, used to purify water by coagulating the suspended particles and letting them fall to the bottom.
With the cholera outbreak reported in 46 districts across the country, Chilmund Chemicals’ business advisor, Mr Nicholas Bhero, said they were committed to supplying the nation and the region with high-quality water treatment chemicals.
Mr Nicholas Bhero
“The company is offering all local authorities favourable conditions on relaxed terms because all they want is to see people accessing clean and safe water,” said Mr Bhero.
“Clean water is key in preventing diseases and we are here to serve local authorities and communities around. Cholera outbreaks must be a thing of the past,” he said.
Mr Bhero said the cholera outbreaks may be a result of other factors and not lack of water treatment chemicals, but as a company, they wished to be part of the solution in eliminating cholera.
He thanked the Government for creating an enabling environment for investment.
“The path was not always smooth and importing aluminium sulphate came with logistical problems and challenges, including delayed shipment, to complex international trade processes,” he said.
“We received invaluable support from policies enacted by the Second Republic. We received unwavering support from Government ministries and local authorities.”
After acquiring the land in 2010, it took the company seven years to get the smart technology needed to set up the plant.
“We shied away from investing in big cities and opted for Bindura, against all conventional wisdom,” said Mr Bhero. “City of Harare and Bindura Municipality have been supportive since we started. The province has been part of our success journey. We have never called out for help and failed to get assistance.”
Bindura Municipality town clerk, Mrs Evelyn Madziire, said they have already informed the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) of the need to regularise the local water treatment procurement.
Chilmund Chemicals and Bindura Municipality have entered into a partnership that enabled the local authority to get supplies and pay later.
“Our struggle to get water treatment chemicals is now a thing of the past,” said Ms Madziire. “The only challenge we might face is the breaking down of the water treatment plant, which is in a dilapidated state.
“However, we have procured spare parts for maintenance and prompt repairs. The Masembura pipeline remains our immediate project to augment water supply and meet demand for the expanding city.”
Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni, expressed her gratitude to Chilmund Chemicals for setting up the manufacturing plant.
She said the investment promotes rural industrialisation and creates employment within the province and builds strong linkages.
“This is testimony of the Second Republic’s success in creating an inclusive environment for investment and industrial development,” said Dr Nyoni. “This shows that reforms by the Second Republic are paying off and reflects the confidence that investors have in the Zimbabwean economy.
“Aluminium sulphate is a key chemical used extensively for water treatment in Zimbabwe and regionally. A local supply of the chemical will have a positive impact on NDS1’s target of supplying clean and safe water to people.
“This investment will contribute to the import substitution of the water and increase local supply. This company is run by local Zimbabwean businessmen who benefited from the RBZ auction floor and took advantage of the fiscal incentives availed by the Government.”
Dr Nyoni commended Bindura Rural District Council for facilitating the provision of an enabling environment that has resulted in Chilmund Chemicals establishing their plant.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Christopher Magomo said the establishment of the plant was historic in the economic development trajectory of the province.
He said the investment will catapult the province’s target of improving GDP in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and Vision 2030.
“Our GDP compared to other provinces is lower. We aggressively embrace the challenge to turnaround the fortunes of this province through such investment,” he said.
“This is a game-changer. The province is endowed with various untamed economic potential anchored on agriculture, mining and tourism. This plant marks a giant leap in the strengthening of the manufacturing sector in the province.”
Minister Magomo thanked Chilmund Chemicals and other companies for choosing to invest in Mashonaland Central.
He said it was a clear testimony that Mashonaland Central is open for doing business.
Positive Eye News