The Sunday News
Johnsias Mutonhori, Midlands Correspondent
GLOW Petroleum has entered into a partnership with the Catholic Church in Gweru that resulted in the petroleum giant investing US$3,5 million on the construction of a state-of-the-art fuel station and a one-stop shop structure on land belonging to the church.
Speaking during the official opening of the fuel station last Tuesday, Glow Petroleum proprietor and managing director Mr Aaron Chinhara said he was inspired by church-corporate relationships in other countries that form alliances for the development of service infrastructure in their communities.
“As I travelled to other countries, especially western countries, I saw the church and the business community entering into alliances that result in the development of their nation and communities.
“If you look very closely, most of the churches here in Zimbabwe have got vast tracts of land and properties that are underutilised and this does not add any value to both the church, the business and the community. So, this partnership is a built, manage and transfer type of affair for a 25-year-old contract where Glow will be running the business on behalf of the church,” he said.
Mr Chinhara said he was looking at establishing other fuel service stations, including one in Mkoba as a way of bringing business closer to the people.
“We are negotiating with the city authorities so that we can find space in Mkoba and build another fuel station to minimise the distance that people travel to refuel their vehicles. On that next project, I would like to assure you that it will be much better as our policy is not only to build for the purpose of pocketing cash but also to develop cities, create employment and promote other businesses in the areas that we operate in,” he said.
Catholic Church Gweru Diocese Vicar General, Father Simon Mavhiya commended Glow Petroleum for considering the church in business initiatives highlighting that the partnership goes a long way in empowering the underprivileged.
“We enjoy the fruits of human endurance which have given us this service station today, as the Bible says unless God builds the city, the builders build in vain.
“It is God who provided Glow Petroleum with the idea and the church with the land to be here where we are today. As we witness this beautiful venture, we are grateful to God as this was done for the people and this partnership will also extend to benefit a lot of people who are under the care of the Roman Catholic Church,” he added.
Glow petroleum has also pledged to recruit most of its employees from the church, particularly those who are underprivileged.