FORMER Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Leonard Hikaumba has said recapitalising Mulungushi Textiles in Kabwe will broaden Government’s revenue sources and help achieve Zambia’s economic diversification efforts.
Mr Hikaumba said in an interview that revamping the textile giant was vital to Zambia’s development agenda because it would also result in job opportunities and provide a market for local cotton producers.
He said the development was timely because it would provide the Zambian economy with an additional viable source of revenue in the face of unstable and declining copper prices.
“The recapitalisation of the company will result in ripple effects such as supporting agriculture and creating employment opportunities for Zambians,” Mr Hikaumba said.
He said the increased availability of locally-produced clothing would make the people access quality and durable clothing.
He said an operational textiles industry would create a ready market for local cotton producers whose produce had experienced a reduction in demand due to non-availability of a textiles industry in Zambia.
Mr Hikaumba said the second-hand clothing industry in Zambia had flourished under the poor local clothing industry.
“People have resorted to buying second-hand clothing because the new clothes are imported and expensive.
“But with the coming on board of Mulungushi Textiles, consumers will be able to buy cheap and durable clothing which is locally produced,” he said.
The Zambia Cotton Ginners Association (ZCGA) said it welcomed the revival of the textile firm as the move 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, and the revamping of the textile plant in Kabwe is the way to go and has been long overdue,” ZCGA executive secretary Bourne Chooka said in response to a Press query.