By Staff Reporter| Zimplats and Mhondoro chiefs have once again plotted to remove critical members of the community ownership board who oppose the trust deed amendment that allows Zimplats to stop paying the 10% community shares agreed upon in 2011.
ZimEye has learned that the purge and victimization of trust members who oppose the amendment has been facilitated in order to allow Zimplats to withdraw community share ownership trust payments without consulting local communities, which is currently taking place.
At least two trust members have been expelled, and several others currently opposing the amending the trust deed are being muzzled pending dismissal.
According to sources, the Zimplats Mhondoro Ngezi Chegutu Zvimba Community Trust (ZMNCZ), led by Mhondoro chiefs, has now become a de facto extension of Zimplats, notifying members who oppose the amendment that their tenure as trust members has expired.
A source who preferred anonymity fearing victimization implicated Zimplats head corporate affairs Busi Chindove for being the mastermind behind the purges to fast track the illegal amendment of the deed.
“Zimplats boss Busi Chindove and some captured ZMNCZ board members who are chiefs are conspiring to remove board members who are not traditional chiefs.
“This is done to ensure that the trust board is limited to traditional leaders who are unaware of these important governance issues. Zimplats is using the chiefs’ ignorance about governance issues to manipulate them into implementing unfavorable policies.
“To make matters worse, Busi Chindove, has a relative on the board called Chief Murambwi who does her dirty bidding, to ensure the status quo remains so that she can easily manipulate the board,” the source said.
Community Share Ownership Trusts were established under the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act with the goal of setting up Share Ownership Trusts (CSOTs) as vehicles of community development.
The trusts obligated foreign mining companies to transfer 10% of their shareholding to ensure local communities received dividends and were direct beneficiaries of their natural resources.
The Zimbabwean government in 2018 amended the Act through the Administrative Measures and the Finance Act to remove the 51% shareholding held by indigenous people, which the incumbent President claimed restricted foreign ownership of local businesses and discouraged much-needed investment.
Critics have castigated Zimplats while being a giant platinum mining company has been failing to pay community share ownership dividends, which are being paid by smaller mining entities.
“The Zimplats and Mhondoro Ngezi cartel is currently targeting one of the board members representing the women’s quota from Zvimba.
“She was told to come to ZMNCZ on Friday to pick up the letter terminating her board membership.
“Only to be denied the letter and confronted by two ladies at reception who professed ignorance of her pending dismissal saying the CEO had instructed them to issue such a letter before being ordered out of the premises,” said another source
Efforts to reach Chindove were futile as she did not respond to the questions sent to until this publication came out.