29 June 2012

Zimbabwe: President to Launch Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust

PRESIDENT Mugabe is expected to launch the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust next month in a move that will see villagers in Chiadzwa and surrounding areas directly benefiting from diamond mining.

Four companies are mining diamonds at Chiadzwa in Manicaland Province.

Manicaland Governor and Resident Minister Chris Mushohwe, confirmed the development in an interview yesterday.

"The Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust will be launched by the President in July this year but I cannot give you the exact date," he said.

Governor Mushohwe said the launch of the trust will change lives in communities in Marange and Zimunya.

"It is a quite exciting development. It will change lives of people in Manicaland province.

"Imagine if all the four companies were to give an advance of US$10 million. One would be talking of US$40 million from contributions by the four companies operating there. It would be the biggest trust in the country," he said.

Governor Mushohwe said communities in Marange have been neglected for too long and the Marange- Zimunya Community Ownership Trust was coming at the right time.

Villagers living in Marange and Zimunya survive on food hand-outs as the area is arid.

The Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust becomes the fifth such scheme.

President Mugabe has since launched community trusts at Zimplats (Mashonaland West), Mimosa and Unki (Midlands) and recently the Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust in Matabeleland South.

Community Share Ownership Trusts are a countrywide Government initiative spearheading development and empowering rural communities by giving them 10 percent stake in all businesses that exploit natural resources in their areas.

The schemes are also designed to control the selfish exploitation of the country's natural resources for the benefit of multi-national corporations and other foreign businesses without benefit to indigenous Zimbabweans.

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