VP Mphoko warns de­fi­ant firms

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Mashudu Net­sianda

VICE-PRES­I­DENT Phelekezela Mphoko has warned that com­pa­nies ben­e­fit­ing from the coun­try’s nat­u­ral re­sources risk los­ing their op­er­at­ing li­cences if they don’t plough back to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties through the com­mu­nity share own­er­ship trusts.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe launched the trusts in 2012 to help trans­form com­mu­ni­ties in which min­ing com­pa­nies op­er­ate.

VP Mphoko made the re­marks as he dis­trib­uted an ad­di­tional 3 200 chicks to the Njube com­mu­nity in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day.

“As Gov­ern­ment, we could be forced to in­voke statu­tory in­stru­ments to force com­pli­ance by com­pa­nies that are har­vest­ing the coun­try’s nat­u­ral re­sources yet they are fail­ing to re­mit part of their pro­ceeds to the com­mu­nity share trusts. We have laws to deal with such com­pa­nies that vi­o­late the stand­ing reg­u­la­tions and op­er­at­ing li­cences may be with­drawn from those com­pa­nies which do not want to co-op­er­ate,” he said.

“Tim­ber log­ging and sa­fari hunt­ing op­er­a­tors must from now on­wards com­ply with all pro­vi­sions of the com­mu­nity own­er­ship trusts and start em­pow­er­ing com­mu­ni­ties in and around their op­er­at­ing ar­eas.”

The VP said the coun­try was rich with nat­u­ral re­sources and urged com­pa­nies to com­ple­ment Gov­ern­ment ef­forts in ad­dress­ing the is­sue of poverty that is af­fect­ing lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“We have a num­ber of blue-chip com­pa­nies in the coun­try that are ex­ploit­ing high value nat­u­ral re­sources but they have never both­ered to plough back to the com­mu­ni­ties to help de­velop their ar­eas,” he said.

VP Mphoko said he was aware of some com­pa­nies that were drag­ging their feet on com­mu­nity share own­er­ship trusts be­cause they are en­gag­ing in un­der­hand deal­ings with some Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and politi­cians.

“Those who are en­gag­ing in un­der­hand deal­ings are ac­tu­ally dis­re­spect­ing Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe. Let me warn you that there is no min­is­ter or politi­cian who can work against the Pres­i­dent in his quest to em­power peo­ple,” he said.

VP Mphoko said the on-go­ing poul­try pro­gramme was aimed at re­duc­ing poverty and bring­ing de­vel­op­ment to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

He has do­nated more than 25 000 chicks to Bu­l­awayo res­i­dents in re­cent weeks and the pro­gramme is ex­pected to spread to the rest of the coun­try.

The chicks are part of the poul­try project the VP un­veiled last month. The pro­gramme which is an­chored on the coun­try’s economic blue­print, Zim-As­set, seeks to em­power com­mu­ni­ties through util­is­ing lo­cal re­sources.

VP Mphoko will next Sun­day do­nate an­other batch of chicks to res­i­dents in Mpopoma-Pe­land­aba con­stituency be­fore rolling the pro­gramme to other prov­inces.

The chicks were sourced from c om­merc i a l farmer Mr Peter Cun­ning­ham who owns Maleme Farm in Ma­tobo dis­trict.

VP Phelekezela Mphoko

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