14 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Community Shares Pay Dividends

Lloyd Gumbo — The indigenisation and empowerment policies have started paying dividends as Zvishavane Community Share Ownership Trust has commenced initiating massive development programmes in the district with the US$3 million received so far.

This comes against a backdrop of a deal in which Government and Impala Platinum Holdings last week signed terms for the Zimplats indigenisation implementation plan to pave way for the transfer of a controlling stake in the entity from the South African firm to Zimbabweans.

Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and his Local Government, Urban and Rural Development counterpart Cde Ignatius Chombo are expected to handover a borehole drilling machine and equipment for making roads in Shurugwi.

Although the value of the equipment was not immediately available, the impact was expected to transform the communities.

Minister Kasukuwere is also expected to visit a thriving potato growing project for youths in Nyanga that has also been supported by his ministry.

These developments fly in the face of allegations by MDC formations that Zanu-PF driven policies are meant to benefit a few elites aligned to the party.

The Zvishavane Community Share Trust has so far built two schools, two clinics and sank boreholes in the area from the US$3 million that has been disbursed so far from the US$10 million that Mimosa Mining Company injected in the Trust.

Some schools and clinics are at different levels of construction in five chieftainships covered by the trust.

Trust chairperson, Chief Mazvihwa (Mr Calvin Hove), hailed the programme saying communities had started benefiting.

"Communities in this district have benefited from the scheme because of the things the trust has done. We have managed to build schools, school blocks, clinics and started electrification programmes," said Chief Mazvihwa.

He said money from the trust would be used to buy furniture for the blocks.

"There is no way these communities would have been developed at this rate had it not been for this scheme. We have managed to build houses for teachers and nurses. We have built a school in a resettlement area under Chief Mazvihwa where the nearest primary school was about 25km. This is development that would have taken years but because of this scheme spearheaded by President Mugabe, it has become real to the people that development can happen with the right policies."

Chief Mazvihwa said they were in the process of identifying students that needed scholarships especially under-privileged ones who excelled in their studies.

He said they were targeting building more schools in resettlement areas and other projects from the remaining US$7 million. Politicians, he said, were not involved in the administration of the fund.

Chief Mazvihwa said Mimosa had been forthcoming in disbursing funds under the Trust adding that they were working well with the platinum mining company.

Chief Mapanzure (Mr Collen Chimhofu) concurred: "This scheme is another milestone achievement after the land reform programme. These schemes appeal to ordinary people because it is their communities that are developed. It answers people's issues because it touches on social amenities like schools, clinics and roads. We want this programme to continue so that all communities may be developed."

So far, the Trust has seen school blocks being constructed at Chivizima High School under Chief Mazvihwa, Chachitsa Secondary School and Mabasa Primary School under Chief Masunda.

Other school blocks have been constructed at Mapirimira Primary School, Govarezadzo Secondary School under Chief Mapanzure while a new school Mpumelelo Secondary School was built under Chief Mafale.

They also built school blocks at Mukwidzi Secondary School and Wedza Primary School as well.

The Trust has also built teachers' houses at several schools in the area and also bought four tractor disc ploughs for each chief for the use by the community while a lorry has also been bought for the same purpose.

Similar schemes launched by President Mugabe include Chegutu-Mhondoro-Ngezi Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust at Zimplats, Tongogara Community Share Ownership Trust at Unki Mine in Shurugwi, the Mashonaland Central Community Share Ownership Trusts and the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust.

Government and Impala Platinum Holdings last week signed terms for the Zimplats indigenisation implementation plan to pave way for the transfer of stake in the entity from the South African firm to indigenous Zimbabweans.

Under the deal, with shares valued at US$971 million Implats will sell shares in Zimplats to Mhondoro-Ngezi, Chegutu and Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust (10 percent), Employee Share Ownership Trust (10 percent) and 31 percent to the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund.

Zimplats will facilitate the transaction by providing vendor financing at an interest rate of 10 percent per annum.

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