The trust, to be officially laun-ched by President Robert Mugabe soon, is set to get 10% shares in Zimplats worth US$120 million under the indigenisation programme.
The development has set Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development minister Ignatious Chombo, Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere and area MP Bright Matonga on a collision course with paramount Chief Nyika.
Zimplats Mine in the Mhondoro-Ngezi constituency is mining in an area under Chief Nyika’s jurisdiction.
Chief Nyika said he won’t recognise the “community trust” because his people had formed their own Mhondoro-Ngezi Community Development Foundation (MNCDF), which the three politicians have allegedly sidelined.
Chombo, Kasukuwere and Matonga on Thursday informed traditional leaders of the formation of the trust at Chief Murambwa’s homestead in Mhondoro-Ngezi.
Chief Nyika alleged that he had not received an official invitation to the meeting and was not briefed about the purpose of the trust being spearheaded by the ministers.
He claimed that Zimplats had bought a named minister a car as part of an inducement plan, accusations that were dismissed by the platinum miner.
“As the people of Mhondoro-Ngezi, we formed our own trust and I am surprised as to why these ministers do not want to recognise that trust,” the chief fumed.
“They expect us to recognise theirs which they formed in Harare without consulting us.
“They did not even invite me to their launch; I went there because I had heard about it and simply because the Zimplats mine is situated in my land.”
The chief also castigated Zimplats senior management for bypassing him when they were seeking authority to build Island Dam in his area.
“They went and took (chiefs) Mushava, Murambwa and Benhura to consult with spirit mediums in my area and I am not happy about that.
“I will make sure President Mugabe hears about that,” he said.
However, Chombo, Kasukuwere and Matonga denied hijacking the community trust initiative at the expense of locals.
“Allegations will be made out of ignorance but it’s just cheap propaganda,” Kasukuwere said.
“This community trust is here to empower the people of Mhondoro-Ngezi, not me. The money will go towards construction of roads, schools and hospitals.”
Matonga said their trust was operating within government structures and those who were complaining wanted to “cause unnecessary controversy”.
Chombo said it was not him who wanted to hijack the trust but some people he did not name who were “visiting chiefs at night” to lure them into starting other community trusts.
ZIMPLATS DID NOT DONATE A CAR
Zimplats, head of Corporate Affairs, Busi Chindove refuted claims Saturday that the mining company had bought a car for a government minister.
On the dispute over community trusts, Chindove said such initiatives were the responsibility of the district administrator of Mhondoro-Ngezi district council and the chiefs.
“We have never bou-ght a car for any minister. Nothing like that happened, we observe high levels of corporate governance. This is fictitious,” she said.