Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe, has officially launched the National Community Trust Programme in Selous, a few kilometres outside Chegutu.Â
In his remarks, President Mugabe hailed Zimplats for fulfilling their promise and ensuring that Zimbabweans own the platinum enterprise.
â€œI am happy to note that the two times I visited your operations here, I was assured that the idea of a community share trust was already in Zimplats plans. Now we know that we are here, not just as labourers, but we are in fact owners of the enterprise,â€ said President Mugabe.
During the launch, Zimplats officially handed over US$10 million to the Chegutu, Mhondoro-Ngezi and Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust.Â Â Â Â
Concern was, however, raised that the US$10 million falls far short of expectations with Mines and Mining Development Minister, Cde Obert Mpofu insisting that all foreign-owned mining firms should backdate their trust fund allocation to the period of commencement of operations.Â
Cde Mpofu said the mining sector has failed to transform into meaningful direct benefits to communities.
Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere said the constitution of Community Share Ownership Trust is provided for by law.
He said the trusts are instruments for the reduction and eradication of poverty.
Speaking at the same occasion, Zimplats chairman, Mr. David Brown, said his organisation is proud to involve the community as a stakeholder in broad-based empowerment.