Chisumbanje clashes end

CALM has returned to the Nyamukwakwa area of Manicaland after villagers and the police resolved to end clashes over the Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant boundaries.

In a statement, the Platform for Youth Development Trust said an emergency meeting of the plant Implementation committee resolved to end the fighting and agreed that all stakeholders should support the project.

The statement said ‘a physical verification of the boundary will be done to satisfy the villagers.’

The Nyamakwakwa community has demanded that the Green Fuel Company, which owns the plant, should limit operations to a specific radius while ensuring that the project benefits the community.

These demands, among other issues, have often led to misunderstandings and clashes.

According to the statement, the villagers pledged to take up the plots prepared by Green fuel as part of the investor’s corporate social responsibility.

Headman Jerry Moyana is to lead a team of community leaders to oversee the distribution of plots which is expected to commence as soon as a ‘desired method is agreed’. The villagers also requested the investor to drill at least three boreholes for the community.

These latest developments will come as a relief to the community after reports last week that clashes were being instigated by ZANU PF politicians.

Recent clashes led to the arrests of Jeremiah Nyamunda, Mike Mashava, Phineaus Muyambo and Taurai Makuyana. The four protestors were detained for five hours on August 31st and they were released only after about 100 community activists descended on the police station demanding their release.

The Chisumbanje plant has been marred by controversy with numerous incidents being reported this year. In May, 11 plant workers were detained on suspicion that they were involved in a fire that destroyed an estimated US$ million worth of sugar cane.

However, the 11 were later released after it emerged that they were victims of an attempt to cover for a blunder by the management. – SW Radio Africa News

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