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Car assembler seeks national project status

by Staff reporter
31 Jul 2019 at 07:47hrs | Views
A United States of America-based Zimbabwean businessman, Dr Devine Mafa has approached Government seeking national project status for the proposed vehicle assembly plant he wants to establish in Kwekwe.

Dr Mafa has partnered with an unnamed international car manufacturer to set up the car assembly business, which he believes would produce affordable and fuel efficient vehicles for the local terrain and the region at large.

Speaking from his base yesterday, Dr Mafa said they have so far approached the Ministries of Transport and Infrastructural Development and Energy and Power Development over the project.

He said the first prototypes of the vehicles were expected in the country before the end of next month.

"The latest progress is to bring in the first prototypes in Zimbabwe which are in transit as we speak. Since they are going to be a national programme for Zimbabwe, we are approaching various ministries responsible for national programmes so that they (vehicles) have got to be a saviour to mankind in general," said Dr Mafa.

"Right now we are working with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and we have also approached the Ministry of Energy and Power Development but we have not given them much details."

He said their vehicle brand was also suitable for passenger and commercial use by various stakeholders including Government departments. In the meantime, Dr Mafa said 75 percent of the vehicles will be assembled in the United States where they were being manufactured while 25 percent will be done in Zimbabwe.

"We intend to make everything in Zimbabwe from the building of the chassis and even engine building, which is the most important thing. Of course, the engine will be certified in US because we are making applications to have the vehicle in the United States as well especially our delivery model," he said.

"Once we bring it to Zimbabwe we have programmes that we are scaling, for example,restoration of postal services that deliver local packages in competition to Fedex Express and DHL that are operational in Zimbabwe."

It is hoped that the proposed vehicle assembly plant will be receiving completely knocked down kits before assembling and selling locally and across the Zimbabwean borders to countries such as Zambia.

The vehicle brand, which Dr Mafa said would be fuel efficient and reasonably priced will be running on both petrol and electricity. Apart from being sold locally, the cars will also be exported into the region and beyond. Once established, it is hoped that the plant will have a capacity to produce 100 vehicles a day which would create thousands of jobs directly and indirectly.

To ensure uninterrupted power supply at the assembling plant in light of the prevailing power challenges, Dr Mafa said they were also investing in solar energy.

Source - th eherald
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