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Government has read the riot act to companies that pledged funds for community development under the Community Share Ownership Trusts but were yet to disburse the money.

Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment permanent secretary, Mr George Magosvongwe, said Government would be left with no choice but to “coerce” the companies if they continued to dilly-dally. He made the remarks last week when he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment chaired by Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator, Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu-PF).

Legislators had demanded to know what Government was doing about companies that did not fulfil their pledges.

“That is an area that we want MPs to help us,” said Mr Magosvongwe.

“The minister, through the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board, follows up on individual companies. The challenge escalated to the highest office of the land when President Mugabe called on those companies to pay up.

“I want to ask the companies to respect the President by fulfilling their pledges. Those pledges are enforceable. It’s an obligation on the companies to pay.

“The law says they must pay and when the President said they should pay he said it within the parameters of the law. They should just comply and not wait for us to enforce because if they don’t comply we will enforce.”

Mr Magosvongwe said about a third of the more than 60 CSOT had been operationalised, while 800 Employee Share Ownership Schemes had been established.

He challenged the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to make sure diamond mining companies under the Zimunya-Marange CSOT fulfilled their pledges despite their claim that they were not aware of the Trust. On vocational training centres, Mr Magosvongwe said Government intended to open more institutions per every district with enrolment expected to double to 10 000.

He said the capital budget of $170 000 for irrigation and water was inadequate.

Source : The Herald