PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s recent Zimunya community share ownership scheme launch has been dismissed as yet another political gimmick more to do with securing votes in the forthcoming elections rather than empowering the masses.
Last month Mugabe officially launched the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust with an initial contribution of US$50 million by five mining entities in the Chiadzwa diamond mining area.
Speaking to the Zimbabwe Independent, human rights activist and director of the centre for research and development Farai Maguwu said diamonds had introduced another key dynamic in the titanic battle for power in Zimbabwe.
“Diamonds are being used to build a war chest for Mugabe’s former ruling party so as to sponsor violence in a bid to win the forthcoming elections,” said Maguwu. “The recently launched community share ownership trust is nothing more than the platform to woo voters ahead of the next elections. Such is the tragedy of Zimbabwe that everything is done on a short-term basis with elections, never mind the people,” he said.
Mugabe launched the country’s first community mining project under new laws that give mining rights to communities around the Marange diamond fields.
Concurring with Maguwu, Clifford Chitupa Mashiri — a Zimbabwean policy analyst based in London — said the indigenisation policy is “driven by the greed” by those in authority and elections. — Staff Writer.