The Herald (Harare)

13 March 2014

Zimbabwe: All Firms Should Cede Shares - Nhema

THE Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, Cde Francis Nhema, says all companies, particularly those in mining, are obliged to contribute to the community share ownership scheme. Addressing the Joint Command and Staff Course Number 27 at the Zimbabwe Staff College in Harare yesterday, Minister Nhema said all companies should comply with Government regulations on the community ownership schemes in line with Zim Asset.

He criticised reports of squabbles arising from the scheme in some provinces, saying Government will not go back on the programme hence the need for all companies to comply.

Cde Nhema said for Zimbabwe to meet the targets set in Zim-Asset, every citizen should contribute to the fulfilment of goals starting with food self sufficiency at household level.

"It is important that there is need to secure food security at household level first, until there are enough reserves at national level," he said.

Zim-Asset is the economic blueprint set to drive economic and social transformation of the country.

The Joint Command and Staff Course Number 27 was attended by a total of 55 students drawn from the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Defence Forces, the Air Force of Zimbabwe and SADC countries.

There have been divergent comments on the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust launched by President Mugabe on July 25, 2012 where all the five companies operating in the area pledged to contribute US$10 million each to the Trust.

Last week, the mining companies told Parliament that they were not aware of the Marange-Zimunya CSOT and had not made any pledges towards its implementation, with former Mines and Mining Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu echoing their sentiments.

However, former Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere came out guns blazing accusing the mining companies of dishonesty.

"For anybody to try and suggest they were not aware of the legal provisions contained in our laws and the instruments which were gazetted is really, really deceitful," Minister Kasukuwere -- who is now in charge of the Environment, Water and Climate portfolio -- said.

"In all the ceremonies that were held, all the ministries -- Mines and Mining Development, Local Government and the President's Office -- were all involved in setting up these community trusts.

"For one to say they did not hear or they didn't know about it is just displaying dishonesty of the highest order. You cannot display dishonesty to this level and the communities of Marange deserve what is due to them.

"They (the mining companies) must be responsible and show respect."

Minister Kasukuwere said he could not have fabricated the dummy cheque that was displayed at the launch of the community trust.

"Kasukuwere does not work in a bank to come up with a dummy cheque," he said.

"How do I know the signatures of the bank officials? Let's be responsible and ensure that the communities are benefiting from their resources, that is the bottom line."

Cde Kasukuwere said the US$10 million for the community share trust was suggested by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development on the premise that the community could not be given 10 percent shares because the Zimbabwe Mining Development Company, Government's investment arm, was already in partnership with the companies. -- ZBC-Herald

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