Lloyd Gumbo Senior Reporter
Government will have to renegotiate with diamond mining companies in Chiadzwa to agree on how much they can contribute towards the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust, Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa has said.
He said this when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Zanu-PF MP for Gokwe-Nembudziya Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena yesterday.
Minister Chidhakwa said there was so much confusion as Chiadzwa companies distanced themselves from the Trust that was launched in July 2012, where five companies — Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources, Anjin Investments, Jinan and Diamond Mining Corporation — were said to have pledged $10 million each.
The five companies also claimed before the same committee last year that they were not aware of the existence of the Trust.
But Minister Saviour Kasukuwere who spearheaded the creation of various Community Share Ownership Trusts as Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment then, accused the companies of dishonesty saying the Trust had been formed with the involvement of various ministries and the respective mines.
Minister Chidhakwa said there had been so much confusion surrounding the Trust, with the only solution being to call for new negotiations.
“I took the opportunity to talk to the mining companies when I went to Marange and I asked them and they said to me that when the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust was formed, there was not a single meeting that was held to invite them to talk about not just the amount that would be deposited into the account, but the manner and the purpose of the Community Share Ownership Trust and how that links with the day to day social responsibilities of any company.
Minister Chidhakwa said while there was confusion on the circumstances surrounding the Marange-Zimunya Community Ownership Trust, firms were expected to comply with the indigenisation and empowerment law by contributing to the Trust.
He said failure to come up with a clear position on how much companies were expected to contribute made it difficult for the companies to play ball.
“There are many figures that you hear.
You even hear that $5 million for each company and the other figure says $10 million for each company and so on and so forth. I think that the way this matter has progressed , looking at the literature and talking to people, has not been properly done.”