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President Mugabe's directive for the government and parastatals to buy locally assembled vehicles has been ignored.

A dejected Quest Motors chief executive Talik Adam told the Parliamentary Potfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure yesterday that the government was still buying vehicles from China, yet the same brands were assembled at the Mutare plant.

When Quest was working at full capacity on a single eight-hour shift we were producing between 12 000 and 15 000 vehicles a month, and employing close to 15 000 people. Today, production level is below 1 percent and only 150 people are employed.”

He said despite the fact that Quest Motors is producing brands like Foton Tunland locally; Government has so far imported about 600 units of the same brand from China. “The latest problem is that we started producing the Foton Tunland at Mutare last year, and Government has so far imported 600 units from China. They could have said let’s get the kits and get Quest to assemble it for us.”

Deven Engineering managing director Patrick Munyaradzi said :“There is a Government directive to purchase from local dealers but we have not yet benefited from that. If we have, it is very little,” he said. “Let us make sure the directive is adhered to and build capacity from there. “We have enough capacity to satisfy local demand on condition we have the market for the units that we produce locally. It is quite surprising that ZUPCO Passenger Company has been importing buses from China where we think they should have imported kits and let us assemble locally.”

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