Ger­man man­u­fac­turer targets Zim:

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Tendai Guku­tikwa Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

GER­MAN-BASED con­struc­tion ma­chin­ery and earth­mov­ing equip­ment gi­ant, Lieb­herr-In­ter­na­tional, has set its eyes on mas­sive in­vest­ment projects in Zim­babwe, a move which could see the com­pany set­ting up its rail divi­sion in the coun­try.

The com­pany’s divi­sion’s project man­ager, Ms Dubre Muller, who vis­ited the Min­is­ter of State for Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs, Mon­ica Mutsvangwa this week said the com­pany had plans to head­quar­ter its African rail divi­sion, Lieb­herr Rail Africa in Zim­babwe.

Short­listed coun­tries for the project in the SADC re­gion had been South Africa, Zam­bia, Namibia and Zim­babwe Ms Muller, a South African based Zim­bab­wean, said Lieb­herr-In­ter­na­tional had set aside mil­lions of Eu­ros for the divi­sion, part of which would ben­e­fit the Zim­bab­wean rail in­dus­try as well as tech­ni­cal higher and ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions.

“The Lieb­herr Com­pany wants to es­tab­lish a rail divi­sion in Africa, specif­i­cally a divi­sion in the SADC re­gion and I have cho­sen that they in­vest and head­quar­ter the divi­sion in Zim­babwe. Ob­vi­ously be­cause I am a Zim­bab­wean and be­cause of the Zim­babwe is open for busi­ness mantra,” said Ms Muller.

The com­pany will also in­vest in the train­ing of rail en­gi­neers, and was seek­ing to also test a new 4000 horse power diesel en­gine over a two year term in the coun­try.

She said the Lieb­herr fam­ily rep­re­sen­ta­tives would come to Zim­babwe in the next few months to fi­nalise the deal with the re­spon­si­ble au­thor­i­ties in the coun­try. The bi­lat­eral col­lab­o­ra­tion is ex­pected to re­sult in a skills up­grade and con­trib­ute to the re­vival of the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

Ms Muller said the Lieb­herr was also in­ter­ested in skills de­vel­op­ment and up-scal­ing tech­ni­cal abil­i­ties among young peo­ple thus its fo­cus in in­vest­ing in higher and ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions. The com­pany aims to fund the train­ing of rail en­gi­neers and tech­ni­cians as well as other engi­neer­ing, tech­ni­cal, min­ing and me­chan­i­cal fac­ul­ties within Man­i­ca­land uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges, she said. Ms Muller went on a fa­mil­iar­iza­tion tour to col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties in the prov­ince which in­clude Man­i­ca­land State Univer­sity of Ap­plied Sci­ences, Mutare Poly­tech­nic Col­lege and Africa Univer­sity. She was up­dated on what in­fra­struc­ture the in­sti­tu­tions lacked. Most of the col­leges com­plained that they had no lab­o­ra­tory equip­ment for prac­ti­cal sub­jects.

The in­vest­ment in­ter­est comes shortly af­ter the pub­lish­ing of the Man­i­ca­land Tourism Mag­a­zine that was of­fi­cially launched last month.

Min­is­ter Mutsvangwa com­mended Lieb­herr for choos­ing Zim­babwe and Man­i­ca­land in par­tic­u­lar, as an in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion.

She said there has been a lot of good­will since the pub­lish­ing of the mag­a­zine and that the coun­try was still look­ing for­ward to an in­flux of in­vestors com­ing in to help re­sus­ci­tate the econ­omy.

Ms Muller was ac­com­pa­nied Mr Elias Ma­suku, the Chair­man of Head­lands De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, which was in­stru­men­tal in en­gag­ing Lieb­herr through Ms Muller.

“We are here to drum up sup­port for in­vest­ment in Man­i­ca­land be­cause Man­i­ca­land is our home and to show the in­vestors that Zim­babwe is bet­ter than any­where else when it comes to tourism and in­vest­ment,” said Mr Ma­suku.

He said the com­mit­tee was still look­ing into more in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties into the prov­ince.

Project man­ager for Lieb­herr Rail Africa Dubre Muller (left), who is based in South Africa meets with Min­is­ter for Man­i­ca­land Prov­ince Cde Mon­ica Mutsvangwa (cen­tre) while Head­lands de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee chair­man Mr Elias Ma­suku looks on. Picture by...

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