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Zimplats dragged to court over failure to handover 10% community shares 11 years after agreement

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By Leopold Munhende l Chief Correspondent


ZIMPLATS, one of Zimbabwe’s largest mining conglomerates, has been taken to the High Court by Chegutu based Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT) for reneging on a 2011 commitment to allot 10% shares to communities where it operates.

The mining giant was served papers Friday with High Court expected to announce dates when it will sit for the matter, this week.

CSOTs were introduced in Zimbabwe in 2011, following mechanisms put in place by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and African Union (AU) Mining Vision (AMV) of 2009, which stipulated that mining firms should take active participation in development of areas they were operating in.

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Zimplats, a subsidiary of South Africa’s Implats, is yet to give the agreed 10% and instead has over the years been involved in corporate social responsibility (CSR), which members of the Zimplats Mhondoro Ngezi Chegutu Zvimba CSOT feel is not enough.

The Trust, represented by Chegutu Rural District Council (RDC) Chairperson Tatenda Gwinji, wants Zimplats to adhere to their December 29, 2011 agreement.

“The claim is for an order declaring that Zimplats is entitled to subscribe to and obliged to allot to the Trust ordinary shares in the share capital of Zimplats constituting 10% of the issued share capital in terms of the Zimplats Mhondoro Ngezi Chegutu Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust,” read the court papers.

The Trust is also demanding that the conglomerate adheres to the agreement within 14 days.

Zimplats boasts of a US$2,26 billion capitalisation and accounts for an average 22% of South African mother company Implats’ market value.