Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is expected to launch a Community Share Ownership Trust in the Manicaland province, home to the Marange diamond fields, as part of a countrywide government initiative that spurs development and empowerment in rural communities by giving them a 10 percent stake in all businesses that exploit natural resources in their areas.
The Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust, aimed to be launched this month, will potentially see villagers in Marange and Zimunya, two communities in Chiadzwa and surrounding areas, directly benefiting from the province's diamond mining, reports the state-run Herald.
Manicaland Governor and Resident Minister Chris Mushohwe confirmed the development in an interview with the news source last week, though no specific launch dates were mentioned. According to the governor, this trust has the potential to be the largest one in the country, depending upon if the four companies currently operating in Marange (Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources, Anjin and the Diamond Mining Company) will give a monetary advance to the trust.
The governor also noted that the trust "comes at a good time" given that the communities of Marange and Zimunya have reportedly been neglected, surviving on food handouts due to the area's aridity.
The Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust would be the fifth such scheme launched under President Mugabe. To date, community trusts exist in various other parts of the country where the Zimplats, Mimosa and Unki platinum mines and the Gwanda gold mine operate, reports the Herald.