From Walter Mswazie in Masvingo
NEWLY-ELECTED Bikita West member of the National Assembly Cde Beauty Chabaya has said she will meet directors of Bikita Minerals to complain over the alleged company reluctance to support community projects as stipulated by the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.
She said the company which produces lithium and tantalite is obliged to play its corporate social responsibility through developing schools, clinics and roads in Bikita.
“We are aware that Bikita Minerals rakes in a lot of revenue through exploiting resources in Bikita West but not doing anything for communities. The company must help in the construction of schools, clinics and roads, borehole drilling and rehabilitation.
“I will engage the company’s directors over the matter. If they are adamant they will risk losing their operating licence,” said Cde Chabaya.
She said Bikita Minerals has the capacity to change the face of Bikita District through engaging in public private partnerships (PPPs) with the Government.
“For any company to operate in this country, it gets the mandate from our Government with the understanding that there will be investment.
“Bikita Minerals which has been operating in the district for many years should comply with the laws of the land,” said Cde Chabaya.
Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs Cde Shuvai Mahofa said all companies operating in Masvingo were expected to contribute to the Community Share Ownership Trust (CSOT) but it was disturbing to note that only a few were doing so.
“Despite introducing CSOT some companies are not giving anything to the communities and we are disturbed. We expect companies to help develop areas they operate in. I know Mavhaire (Dzikamai) is one of the directors at the mine and may be behind what is happening. He is causing a lot of confusion at Bikita Minerals,” said Minister Mahofa.
Bikita Minerals general manager Mr Grant Hudson could not be reached for comment as his number was not reachable.