Tuesday 16 May 2023


ZIMBABWE is assembling 200 more buses this year with kits coming from China following the successful assembly of 40 buses during the first two trial phases, with those buses already on the road.

This new phase of assembly should see some local component manufacture, such as seats and roof racks.

The local assembly of buses resonates well with President Mnangagwa’s mantra of “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” as local jobs have been created while reducing the country’s import bill.

In fact, Zimbabwe will now be able to export assembled buses as the Government-owned Deven Engineering in partnership with Amalgamated Bus Industries can assemble up to 1 200 buses annually.

Speaking during a tour of Deven Engineering by the Permanent Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in Harare Metropolitan Province, Mr Tafadzwa Muguti, Amalgamated Bus Industries director Dr Shadreck Tiripano yesterday said they were ready to assemble more buses.

“We are helping the Government in NDS1 whereby we import knock-down kits from China and assemble them here in Zimbabwe. Our medium to long term plan is to bring in more kits, especially this year where we have got a facility of about 200 kits which means 200 buses which we want to import into Zimbabwe,” he said.

Another director of the company, Dr Samson Nhanhanga, was optimistic of good days ahead.

“We anticipate to increase production capacity, with a target to assemble more than 200 buses per year. We are also using local engineers from our tertiary institutions,’’ he said.

Deven Engineering is owned by the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ).

IDCZ acting general manager Mr Edward Tome said they have capacity to manufacture 10-12 brand new buses daily, with shifts operating on a 24-hour basis.

“At the moment we are operating at about 10 percent of our capacity. We are able to produce between 500 to 1 200 buses per year depending on customers orders.

“However, we now have the technical knowhow and capacity. We now can manufacture any brand of a bus for any terrain in Zimbabwe both urban and rural segments,” he said.

Mr Tome said Zimbabwe requires between 500 to 800 brand new buses yearly which Deven Engineering can fully satisfy.

“This is being done with Zimbabwean expertise and workers only with the original equipment manufacturer coming in to inspect at the tail end when the buses have been fully manufactured.

“For these first two batch trials, we have imported everything from China. However, our next phase will be the third phase where we want to localise componentry. We want to start producing components like seats, seat covers, brackets, and goods carriers on top of the buses,” he said.

Mr Tome said they want to start reverse engineering in the manufacture of buses and trucks in collaboration with Harare Institute of Technology and the University of Zimbabwe. Herald


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