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PYD demands to be involved in the drafting of the Joint Venture proposal for Chisumbanje Ethanol Project
Platform for Youth Development
February 25, 2013

Taking note that Green fuel has been given 5% mandatory blending with conditions of a Joint Venture, we are mindful that the drafting process can be exclusive of the community affected. PYD is demanding the government of Zimbabwe through the chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial committee on Chisumbanje-Professor A.G.O Mutambara to provide for this engagement. The law passed will mandate fuel wholesalers to blend petrol with locally produced ethanol in order to cut the country's fuel import bill.

PYD, as representing Chisumbanje villagers will have no problem with mandatory blending increased to 10% as long as the minimum demands of the communities affected are taken care of. For the avoidance of doubt, the villagers have been demanding involvement and engagement, respect of land boundaries between the investor and communal land, proper and commensurate compensation of those displaced and disadvantaged by the project, employment creation for the locals as well as an agreed framework on corporate social responsibility(CSR).

PYD has observed and read the manner in which deals between the state-run indigenization and economic empowerment board and several foreign-owned companies are drafted. It has been well recorded that the powerful elites of the inclusive government have manipulated this program at the expense of locals and the investor involved.

Despite the law having been drafted with the promise to cede 51% of shareholding to local investors, community and local trusts and quasi government bodies, it has been hijacked. ZANU PF campaign machinery has made implementation of the indigenisation and empowerment program suspiciously partisan and full of hot air. The community share ownership trusts have practically failed to convince the public despite large sums of money having been displayed inform of cheques. PYD remains cautious about the empowerment law, particularly that corruption and lack of transparency have been the order of events.( Lessons can be drawn from Marange-Zimunya share ownership trust, Mimosa mine, Mhondoro Ngezi, Impala Platinum and Zimplats).

PYD prefers a Joint Venture deal that directly compels the investor to do business directly with the community with some of the expectations being to build and improve the connecting roads within the areas they are doing business, Improve the state of local schools and clinics as well as intervention during natural disasters that include hunger and droughts.

PYD remains hopeful with the manner the relations between the community, the government and the investor are unfolding. We continue to urge the public to increase their interest in nurturing this relationship so that it matures into mutual beneficiation. So far, four meetings have been done to handle the dispute between the community and the investor since mid January 2013.Compensation processes are ongoing and hopefully this will be completed to satisfaction in Chinyamukwakwa and Chisumbanje.

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