By Daniel Chigundu in Zvishavane
GIANT miners Rio Zim have handed over two factory shells to the community in Murowa which are expected to go a long way in creating jobs for the young people.
Youths in Zimbabwe are largely unemployed owing to massive company closures that took place in the past decade.
According to statistics, unemployment rate is about 85 percent at a time when the country has a literacy rate of around 95 percent.
Owing to lack of jobs, most Zimbabweans have crossed into neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and lately Malawi in search of greener pastures.
Addressing delegates during the handover ceremony, Rio Zim board chairperson Lovemore Chihota said with these factory shells, his company is expecting to see the centre becoming a manufacturing hub for the community.
“The factory shells at Murowa business centre are only the second such stricture in the whole of Zimbabwe after a similar one in Chitungwiza. We worked tirelessly with the community to ensure that maximum value is derived from the investment.
“To date, we have equipped two bays one for Hot-works and the second one for garment making and sewing. Training will be a prerequisite for beneficiaries and to that end, we have partnered with the Zvishavane Vocational Training Centre who will ensure certification of all students.
“Graduates will receive a starter pack as our support for them to establish their own businesses. This is sustainable empowerment at its best,” he said.
Chihota added that factory shells are in line with national priority which is seeking to create jobs.
Government through ZimAsset has been trying to create about 2.2 million jobs that were promised by former President Robert Mugabe in 2013.
Few years down the line we expect to see graduates producing carts, window frames, uniforms, clothing, and these same centres will become manufacturing hubs for the serving the community and beyond.
The Rio Zim said he is confident that the project will work to achieve the required goals.
“Distinguished guest, the Rio Zim Foundation Factory Shells project speaks to the national priority of job creation and economic empowerment of communities and will serve as an incubator for nurturing upcoming entrepreneurs.
“I have no doubt in my mind that with the right zeal it will be a resounding success,” he said.
Beside the factory shells, Rio Zim also handed over Mhike Bridge which is built to enable people in the community to cross Muchekwachekwa River during the rainy season.
Rio Zim also handed over the Baradzanwa Primary School E-Learning Centre-computers, multipurpose printing facility and renovated classrooms for laboratory and provided furniture as well.