Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Parliament yesterday called for the investigation of former Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and Chipinge South MP Cde Enock Porusingazi for corruption in the manner they handled the Green Fuel deal at Chisumbanje.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, chaired by Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu-PF) said Cdes Mavhaire and Porusingazi, abandoned the interests of the community to please the company in return for kickbacks.
As a result, said the committee, villagers were left impoverished after the Green Fuel project âswallowedâ their land without any compensation despite undertaking to do so when the project was established.
The committee noted that villagers expressed concern during a public hearing at the Lowveld that the two had disbanded the District Ethanol Plant Implementation Committee constituted by an Inter-ministerial Cabinet task-force led by the then Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
âThe committee gathered that Depic had been disbanded by the former Minister of Energy and Power Development Dzikamai Mavhaire acting in cahoots with the Member of the National Assembly for Chipinge South Constituency, Hon Enock Porusingazi, and the Company, principally to safeguard and advance the interests of Green Fuel at the expense of the communities in the general area of Chisumbanje,â said Cde Wadyajena while delivering the committeeâs report.
âIt emerged that the community suspected that money and/or other inducements had changed hands between the trio an allegation disputed by the former Minister in a letter he wrote to the committee. As a result, this has deprived the community of a platform through which to raise their grievances and share ideas on how best the company should serve the interests of the local community.â
The committee noted that Green Fuel had not complied with the 49 /51 percent indigenisation laws of the country despite the fact that it enjoyed a 20 percent mandatory blending.
âThis is not the case in Chisumbanje where the investor has a contentious 90 percent stake through Macdom Investments and the Government owns the remaining 10 percent through Agricultural Rural Development Authority,â said Cde Wadyajena.
âARDA has an irrevocable option to acquire up to 51 percent shareholding, but it is not yet clear how this is going to be achieved. It was also noted that Green Fuel was granted an ethanol blending licence despite not fulfilling the 51 /49 percent Joint Venture with Government according to the spirit of Statutory Instrument 17 of 2013 on Mandatory Blending.â
It was noted that there were no community projects by Green Fuel.
The committee noted that Green Fuel was discharging toxic effluent in local rivers used for domestic use endangering people and livestock.
Mabvuku-Tafara MP Mr James Maridadi (MDC-T) said businessman Billy Rautenbach, the major shareholder in Green Fuelâs dealings in the country smacked of corruption.
Mr Maridadi said his research had shown that Mr Rautenbach had been fingered for shady deals in South Africa, Botswana and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Chipinge West MP Mr Prosper Mutseyami (MDC-T) said it was not fair to award a national project of ethanol and mandatory blending that benefited an individual like Rautenbach at the expense of the whole community.
He said the Green Fuel deal undermined the spirit of black empowerment because a white person was benefiting from natural resources at the expense of thousands of villagers that included war veterans.