Mulungushi textiles to reopen after 7 years
Seven years after it went defunct, Zambia's Mulungushi textiles is set to reopen on August 1 following infusion of $10 million by a Tanzanian Textile mill, that has acquired the company on lease for 12 years.
The announcement about the revival of the textile company was made by President Lungu at an election rally in Kawbe July 24. The defunct Zambia-China Mulungushi Textiles signed a 12-year lease agreement with Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL) on July 20 aimed at reviving the operations of the defunct textile factory.
Labour and industry unions have welcomed the move which is expected to create 2,000 jobs immediately and provide an impetus to the local industry up and down the value chain, media reports said.
Former Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Leonard Hikaumba told Lusaka Times that revamping the textile giant was vital to Zambia's development agenda as it would result in job opportunities and provide a market for local cotton producers.
“The recapitalisation of the company will result in ripple effects such as supporting agriculture and creating employment opportunities for Zambians,” he said.
The move would also broaden Government's revenue sources and provide the Zambian economy with an additional viable source of revenue in the face of unstable and declining copper prices.
Increased availability of the locally-produced clothing would provide people access to quality and durable clothing the lack of which had led to the growth of second-hand clothing industry in the African nation.
“People had resorted to buying second-hand clothing because the new clothes are imported and expensive,” he said observing that with the re-opening of Mulungushi Textiles, consumers would be able to buy cheap and durable clothing that is locally produced.
Echoing him, The Zambia Cotton Ginners Association (ZCGA) said the revival of the textile firm would promote value-addition to raw lint.
“We have always supported initiatives aimed at adding value to our lint which is being exported in its raw form,” ZCGA executive secretary Bourne Chooka said adding that it was long overdue.” (SH)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India