Editor's Comment

Mulungushi Textiles must revive Kabwe

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu on Saturday gave Kabwe residents an earnest Christmas gift when he announced the re-opening of the Mulungushi Textiles on August 1 this year.
The President’s announcement during a campaign rally in Kabwe is a tonic to the town’s residents who have been awaiting the re-opening of the company for a long time now.
Mulungushi Textiles was for a long time a joint venture between the Zambian and Chinese governments.
Its closure contributed to Kabwe being called a ghost town after the lead mine, which also employed hundreds of people, had also shut.
President Lungu’s announcement will therefore change the narrative of the town because the re-opening of the textile industry will not only create direct jobs for citizens but opportunities for farmers and traders.
The closure of the country’s biggest textile industry meant cotton farmers’ market had shrunk.
The garment sector is known for creating hundreds of jobs. It also has potential to earn foreign exchange.
Textile industries provide employment to hundreds of farmers through engaging them as outgrowers.
Therefore, the return to life of Mulungushi signals Government’s desire to strengthen the country’s textile and garment sector.
That is why growing and developing the manufacturing industry is at the core of the Patriotic Front (PF)’s administration.
The PF has in its 2016- 2021 manifesto prioritised industrialisation and it is pleasing that it has begun actualising it by re-opening Mulungushi Textiles.
Players in the cotton sector must be happy that Government is providing direction as far as the development of the garment sector through the resuscitation of Mulungushi Textiles is concerned.
While Government will facilitate the re-opening of Mulungushi, the onus of sustaining it lies with all Zambians.
Currently, Zambia is flooded by second-hand clothes known as salaula.
We therefore call upon government departments and private companies to help sustain Mulungushi by buying garments from the company.
Every quarter, there are celebrations taking place in Zambia starting from Youth Day, Women’s Day, Labour Day to shows such as the Trade Fair and the Agricultural shows.
Public schools, instead of hiring fly by night tailors, should start having their uniforms from Mulungushi.
This is how Mulungushi will be sustainable.
However, Mulungushi management should not sit on its laurels and wait for sympathetic companies and individuals.
Running a company of that magnitude requires innovation so that it becomes internationally competitive.
When the company becomes internationally competitive, it will become a contributor to employment generation, foreign exchange earnings and a conduit for the sustainable economic development of Zambia.

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