Nyemudzai Kakore, Harare Bureau
Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited board yesterday said the company’s smart investments to retool and recapitalise will spur it to greater heights.
In an interview, Zimpapers board chairperson Mr Delma Lupepe said although there was always room for improvement, it was satisfying that all the investments the company had made were bearing fruit.
Mr Lupepe said this after the board and senior management toured Natprint and viewed the state-of-the-art printing press acquired recently and the Zimpapers Television network department. “We toured all the business units and we were impressed with what we saw. These days it is very rare to go to a factory and there is noise and people working. It shows that there is business happening here,” he said.
“It is amazing that in this challenging environment we have companies such as Natprint that are doing so well. Looking at the order book and orders coming through to Natprint everyday, it is clear that they cannot cope, all they need is to recapitalise.”
Turning to the Zimpapers Television Network department, Mr Lupepe said it was at the top of their list of priorities in terms of financial assistance.
He said the television network had the capacity to compete with foreign DSTV channels and this will promote local content.
“We are impressed with the television project that we have got going here which started about three years ago. The basic structure of the project is in place. We are impressed with the little bit that they have done with the minimum resources that we have given them so far,” he said.
“The television network needs our full attention right now. The board will sit with senior management and give this particular project full attention. We think it is vital and key to the future of the media and communication industry.”
Mr Lupepe expressed gratitude to the Zimpapers team, which he said knows exactly what it is doing and where it is going. He added that the board would lend the team its full support.
Natprint general manager, Njabulo Nkomo, said the new printing press is being installed by technicians and commissioning will be done in the next few days.
He said the machine will increase capacity utilisation to over 80 percent taking the company to full factory utilisation.
The printing press, which was imported from Poland, is a Speed Master 5 colour with an online coating unit. Natprint is operating at 65 percent capacity with the sheet fade printing operating at 100 percent utilisation.
Meanwhile, Zimpapers bought 100 copies of Charles Mungoshi book titled Branching Streams Flow in the Dark as a way of assisting the writer.