A high-powered team of senior government officials toured the Chisumbanje ethanol project last Monday to get first-hand information of its impact on the local communities.
The team comprised four permanent secretaries from ministries of Agriculture, Local Government, Water Resources, Labour and Social Services.
Team leader Ngoni Masoka from the Agrciulture ministry said their mission was to seek villagers’ views on the contested relocation of the community to pave way for the Greater Chisumbanje Project.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently visited the plant where he received complaints regarding the relocation process.
But Headman Albert Chivayo said the community was supportive of the project, though they had reservations over the size of land they would be allocated.
“We want the project to go ahead. We knew before that one day Arda would take its land where we used to plough. However, what we want is a sustainable piece of land which is going to maintain or improve our livelihoods,” he said.
He said some unscrupulous people were falsely misleading the investor that they belonged to the area, yet they only wanted to benefit where they should not.
Masoka said they would present the views to their ministers so as to give them an informed position on the developments on the ground.
An implementation committee comprising the Chipinge district administrator, Chipinge Rural Council CEO, Arda, Green Fuel and the local leadership has been put in place to look at the matter.
Green Fuel is expected to turn around the county’s fuel fortunes and also make a significant contribution towards electricity generation.