MUTARE — Tempers flared at a Zanu PF-organised indigenisation meeting on Monday after some party members demanded to know why the Zimunya-Marange Community Share Ownership Trust had been officially recognised and launched by President Robert Mugabe ahead of other trusts registered before it.
Report by Obey Manayiti
Party members accused Manicaland governor Chris Mushohwe of misleading Mugabe into believing the province only had one community trust.
Mugabe last year launched the Zimunya trust amid pomp and fanfare to spearhead developmental projects by pooling together resources donated by diamond-mining firms in Manicaland province.
Speaking at a public meeting organised by Manicaland Business Action Group (MBAG), the Marange Residents Empowerment Trust (MRET) chairman Didymus Machiri accused Mushowe of pushing Mugabe to recognise the Zimunya trust which he chairs.
The other trust is Chiadzwa Community Development Trust representing Chiadzwa residents’ interests.
“People are not really happy. Last year, the President launched the Zimunya-Marange Trust where the diamond mining companies promised to deposit $50 million.
“That money was never released. We want answers from the governor (Chris Mushowe) because he is the one who chairs that trust,” Machiri said.
He said his trust had a membership of more than 100 000 people in 50 wards.
“Senior Zanu PF members betrayed the President during that launch. They deliberately avoided some registered trusts which were registered to form the Zimunya-Marange Trust whose coffers are still empty up to now. They are bad ambassadors for the party,” a Marange resident Fungai Nhaitai said.
Another resident Loveness Mangange said morale was low among Zanu PF members, adding this could trigger voter apathy in the forthcoming polls.
In 2008, Zanu PF got six out of 26 contested parliamentary seats in the province.
Conveners of the meeting indicated they would seek audience next week with ministers Saviour Kasukuwere (Indigenisation), Obert Mpofu (Mines), Ignatius Chombo (Local Government) and Elton Mangoma (Energy) to address the matter.
“We are building a forum to communicate and convey the feelings of the people of Manicaland that says out clearly that people shouldn’t hide behind the finger and label it anti-Zanu PF or unpatriotic to question why a God-given gem is not benefiting the immediate community,” MBAG spokesperson Charles Samuriwo said.
Efforts to get a comment from Mushowe on Monday and yesterday were in vain.