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Zimbabwe blows over US$10 million importing toilet paper, chewing gum, dog and cat food at the top of the list of non-essential items.

This was revealed by Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha.

Minister Bimha said Government is now working on measures to rectify the situation.

The figures show that US$3, 4 million was spent on tissue paper alone; while US$1,3 million was blown on cat and dog food; US$1,2 million went to chewing gum.

About US$1, 1 million was used to import tooth brushes while dish towels, dusters and mutton cloths accounted for US$287 887. An additional US$427 973 was spent on natural honey, floor sweepers, mops and feather dusters. Over 4 000 types of household and industrial materials were brought into Zimbabwe from 155 countries.

Bimha told the state media, “I don’t have those figures yet, but Government’s policy is clear. We are in the process of growing investments and encouraging local content production.

“So, we are working with various stakeholders to ensure we increase availability of foreign currency. Statutory Instrument 64 resuscitated a lot of companies and even those that did not want foreign currency previously suddenly approached the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to ask for it.”