MDC-T legislator James Maridadi has taken government to task over the issue of allowing the Chinese business people to bring i their products for sale and later smuggling all the cash back to their country considering they have no bank accounts in Zimbabwe.
"I would like to ask the secretariat of Parliament to bring me some exhibits that I have. Can you kindly bring the exhibits that I want to show to the House – the dishes and all the other things so that when I debate, I put my debate in context. One small dish, one large dish, transistor radio, a thread, binder and outer blanket were laid on the table," he said.
Maridadi said the President (Robert Mugabe) spoke about two issues and spoke about the economic downturn.
"He said Government was working hard to ensure that the economy can start working again and for very obvious reasons. The President then spoke about the need for Zimbabweans to shun corruption. Madam Speaker, I want to talk about those two issues, the need for Zimbabweans to shun corruption and the need for the economy to grow. There are issues that I want to highlight here which militate against the growth of this economy. The last time I spoke about this, I brought exhibits of blankets and I spoke to that. Today I have some exhibits and some documentary evidence here that I have which are militating against the growth of this economy," he said.
"There are people that are operating in this economy that are not following regulations that are stipulated by Government. What I have before this House are two dishes. These two dishes are imported into this country by a company that I have put tabs on. When this dish (small) comes through the border, it is cleared at $0.02. This one here (big) clears at the border at $0.04. That is the duty that they pay. I went to buy this one here (small dish) for $6 and I bought this one here (big dish) for $13. They are imported from China. In China Madam Speaker, they pay the correct amount but when they come to Zimbabwe, they do not pay the correct amount. I am talking about $0.02 and $0.04 and I have the evidence here."
Maridadi said he have another item which is a transistor radio.
"This radio declares at the border $1.20 and it is sold in Zimbabwe for $14. Let me go on to the next thing. I have here what is called a quilting kit. A quilting kit consists of a liner, binder and the outer blanket. When these things are imported into Zimbabwe, there is the binder, liner, the outer blanket and the thread. It is called a quilting kit. When you put these together, you then come up with a blanket. This blanket here in Zimbabwe sells for about $20. A blanket which is manufactured in Zimbabwe is sold for $30 for a double. Companies in Zimbabwe like Waverly do all the manufacturing from lint to a complete blanket. The lint will lead to this outer material, it will also lead to this inside material and it will lead to this binding cloth and to a complete blanket, a double of which will sell for $30," he said.
"When these quilting kits come into Zimbabwe, what they declare at the border is $0.40. A local company which is manufacturing blankets cannot compete with a company that is importing a quilting kit for $0.40 and sell a blanket because they can even sell it for $3 and still make a profit. Actually, this material here, when it is being imported into Zimbabwe must declare $2.93 per metre at the border but this whole set is declaring $0.40 at the border. That is the level of prejudice to this Government."
Maridadi said this Chinese Company would not able to do this if they are not protected by senior people in Government.
"The document that I have here Madam Speaker will tell you what has been imported into this country. The Chinese Company I am talking about here is called Yufan Import and Export Trade Company. It does not have a bank account. I wonder how they are then able to pay for these things in China if they do not go through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe because they must essentially go through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. They must submit an application to the RBZ and say we need so much to be able to import these items into the country but I do not know how they do it because they do not go through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe," he said.