Zimbabwe: Chisumbanje Ethanol Project Now On Track

editorial

Photo: Vanguard
file photo: Oil Installation

The committee, elected on the 7th of November 2012 is a fulfilment of the resolutions approved by the Cabinet of Zimbabwe.

It is important to mention from the onset that the establishment of the committee had some false starts as contestation and jostling for positions took centre stage.

This committee comes into existence to replace a Green Fuel handpicked committee that was dominated by political players aligned to ZANU-PF.

Those that have been elected into this new committee include Claris Madhuku, the director of Platform for Youth Development Trust, Memory Zvinongoza Dube, a farmer in Chinyamukwakwa, Jerry Mayan, another farmer and businessperson and Wedzerai Gwenzi, a farmer and youth activist.

The committee reflects the community interests that goes beyond political gerrymandering.

Local traditional leadership participated and endorsed the committee as a true reflection of the people of Chisumbanje.

The duties and responsibilities of the committee are to promote co-existence between Green Fuel and the villagers.

Relations between the two parties had taken a confrontation path at the start of the project after the company destroyed crops while villagers resisted eviction from their land. The conflict spawned ugly scenes that only needed intervention by the government.

The new committee is now supposed to conclude the issue of compensation. The Cabinet report found that the company had illegally disadvantaged the community for four years. It must now work with the affected villagers on the issue of compensation.

As Platform for Youth Development (PYD), we call upon other civic society stakeholders to intervene and ensure that present cordial relations between Green Fuel and the villagers are managed ahead of a watershed elections expected early next year.

Professor Arthur Mutambara, who chairs the Cabinet inter-ministerial committee, has a responsibility to harmonise relations where political interests, particularly from MDC-T and ZANU PF, seeks to torpedo the project.

We are confident that Professor Mutambara would be able to use his neutral position to ensure that the good relations ushered in by the new committee take hold.

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InFocus

Land Wrangle at Zimbabwe's Ethanol Plant

file photo: Oil Installation

Armed police have been deployed to Chisumbanje where villagers had tried to claim back their land that was taken over by a multi-million dollar ethanol plant. Read more »