Munyaradzi Gwatidzo

Munyaradzi Gwatidzo

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LOCAL electronics business Astro Mobile, which presently specialises in retailing telecommunication accessories, intends to establish an electronic manufacturing and assembly plant in Harare’s Msasa industrial area during the second quarter of the year.

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The investment is expected to create jobs and chart a new trajectory for the mobile electronics business.

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Zimbabwe continues to be a recipient of assembled custom-made products, especially from China.

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Astro Mobile chief executive officer Mr Munyaradzi Gwatidzo said last week the firm will start by manufacturing smart televisions at the end of May.

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“We are excited with the development, and (we) will kick-start the manufacturing arm mainly with smart televisions, which we will be making at our Msasa plat starting at the end of May, some of which will be 3D televisions. . .

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“We initially wanted to bring them in, assembled, last year but found it made greater sense for our economy and our people if we started manufacturing here on the African continent. This means the televisions will cost at least half of the current going prices for Zimbabweans and we will not be spending money on foreign products but making them ourselves in our country,” said Mr Gwatidzo.

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Part of the firms ambitious plan involve employing more than 2 000 people by the end of the two-year rollout programme.

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Added Mr Gwatidzo: “We shall start by manufacturing 10 000 smart televisions a month for the first three months, a figure we intend to double by the end of the fourth month. At the end of the two year roll-out plan of our manufacturing ambitions, we will be employing up to two thousand people.”

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As the country will be migrating from broadcasting analogue signals to digital signals in line with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) deadline, Astro is also considering manufacturing smart top boxes that convert digital signals to analogue for families that cannot easily make the switch.

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