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Zhuwao says foreign firms not giving enough back to local communities, must do more
08/11/2016 00:00:00
by Masvingo Correspondent
 
 
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UZUMBA: Indigenisation minister, Patrick Zhuwao has expressed his frustration over how foreign-owned firms operating in Mashonaland East continue to ignore his calls for them to fund the government's Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOTs) programme.

Addressing government officials and Zanu PF youths at Nhakiwa Vocational Training Centre in Uzumba recently, Zhuwao said the companies, especially those involved in mining black granite, were not ploughing back part of their proceeds into the communities that they operate in.

"While these funds are indeed welcome, the reality remains that such contributions of seed capital to community trusts have not been reflective of the value of the natural resources being exploited by these companies in Mashonaland East," Zhuwao said.

"Clearly, there is greater value that is due to CSOTs which businesses exploiting their natural resources are yet to ensure is guaranteed our local communities," he said.

Zhuwao insisted that all foreign-owned companies in Zimbabwe should be in compliance with the government's controversial indigenous policy of having 51% local shareholding.

"For existing businesses, where government or designated entities do not have 51% shareholding, then compliance with the 51% threshold shall be achieved through ensuring that at least 75% of the gross value of the exploited resource is retained in Zimbabwe as local content.

"Concerning the natural resources sector, President Mugabe has clarified that new businesses beginning to exploit natural resources must guarantee government or designated entities, which include CSOTs, 51%," said Zhuwao.

CSOTs were launched in all provinces by President Mugabe in 2012 ahead
of the 2013 elections.

However, Mashonaland East was the only province where the scheme was not launched and since then senior government and Zanu PF officials have been forcing foreign owned companies operating in the province to inject funds into the trust.

However the companies, especially the black granite miners operating in Mutoko and Mudzi districts, insist it is not possible to invest in the trust as they are operating below capacity.

Recently Parliament took local government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, to task over how he duped President Mugabe to hand over a dummy $50 million CSOT cheque to the Marange-Zimunya community.



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Kasukuwere, who was then the indigenisation minister, claimed the money had been pledged by diamond mining companies in the area. However, the diamond companies have disowned the cheque or making the pledge.


 
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