Home » Governance » Parly – Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant Illegal

PARLIAMENTARY Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment has called on government to reverse the allocation of over 5000 hectares of land to the Ethanol production company, Macdom Investments, in Chisumbanje saying the move was illegal.

The committee said the allocation breached the country’s indigenization laws and deprived the local community of their land and as result impoverished them.

Green Fuel, which is operating as Macdom Investments, in 2008 acquired the right to lease land measuring 5112 hectares from government, where it built an ethanol plant.

In the process of acquiring the land which it has extended to 9, 375 hectares, the company started to encroach into the surrounding communal lands which included Chinyamukwakwa and Matikwa villages without adequate consultation with the community.

Activists and villagers have argued that the said land was not vacant but was used by the villagers for their crop production, livestock grazing and for other cultural purposes.

In a detailed report submitted to government this week after touring the Ethanol plant, the parliamentary committee said it discovered that the project brought poverty to the locals as opposed to development.

The Committee said the indigenization and empowerment laws which promote beneficiation of the community through Community Share Ownership Trust schemes were seriously flouted when the multimillion dollar project was authorised.

“The Committee appreciates that the ceding of 51% stake in foreign controlled entities is not an overnight fast-track task. However the ‘sustainable economic empowerment and social transformation’ of communities like Chisumbanje can surely be done with immediate benchmark gains through more robust and evaluable social responsibility schemes like Community Share Ownership Trust,” the report said.

“It is high time government made a g statement of intent and also reviewed the shambolic way in which the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, especially its community empowerment objective, is being implemented by entities like Green Fuel with whom it has Joint Ventures.

The report went on to say:

“It is sad to note that the state has not shown any urgency to bring to order the evident dis-empowered of the people of Chisumbanje, but has shown more concern to support the business side of the Ethanol Project.”

Source : New Zimbabwe