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Gwanda Residents Left Out of Community Ownership Trust

  • Gibbs Dube

Community projects in Zimbabwe
Some residents of Gwanda, Matabeleland South Province, claim they are left out of the local community share ownership trust scheme launched in May as part of Zimbabwe’s black economic empowerment programme.

Gwanda North lawmaker Thandeko Zinti Mnkandla says the $10 million scheme, which was set up by the government through sourcing funds from 20 foreign-owned mining companies operating in the region, has been hijacked by Zanu PF.

Mnkandla also accuses the Gwanda indigenization and economic empowerment board of implementing some projects without consulting communities.

Gwanda resident Buletsi Nyathi agrees, saying the board appears to be run by Zanu PF functionaries.

But chief Mbiko Masuku of Matshetsheni communal lands, a member of the local indigenization board, refutes the accusations, saying programs implemented in the region are developed after consultations with the communities.

The Gwanda indigenization board has broad members, and includes five chiefs, the chairman of the Gwanda Rural District Council, youths and other stakeholders.

Zimbabwe has launched similar community share ownership trusts countrywide with funds sourced from foreign-owned companies that complied with the indigenization and economic empowerment law.

The law requires foreign-owned firms to transfer 51 percent of ownership to black Zimbabweans.