Bhasikiti, where are your priorities?

HARARE - Construction of a massive ethanol project in Nuanetsi ranch should have started by now, but it hasn’t.

Its progress came to a screeching halt thanks to the logrolling and political grandstanding kicked off by Masvingo provincial minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, who used his power to block the project rather than allow villagers to benefit through employment opportunities.

This is surprising given the Zanu PF administration’s much talked-up fuel import substitution proposals. There is no project that achieves fuel substitution more than this sugarcane fired ethanol plant.

The project, mooted by the late Father Zimbabwe Joshua Zimbabwe, was earmarked to produce bio-fuels in Zimbabwe’s Lowveld region as far back as the 90s.

Bhasikiti is reportedly expropriating land at Nuanetsi, which also houses the Chingwizi transit camp.

Nkomo worked hard to buy Nuanetsi from Imperial Cold Storage Company of South Africa in 1989. DTZ bought the farm, it did not grab it from anybody. Now for Zanu PF to claim all land belongs to the State is a direct affront on property rights. DTZ says it had to borrow funds from Old Mutual. The loans were repaid in full.

The Zanu PF provincial minister has literally killed the project, dashing the hopes of thousands of young villagers.

As reported elsewhere in this edition, villagers have called Bhasikiti’s action disappointing.

Bhasikiti’s seizure of the land, allegedly working in cahoots with a group of senior directors at Tongaat Hulett-owned Triangle (Pvt) Limited, puts in jeopardy the welfare of at least 3 000 families moved in February to the Chingwizi transit camp in Mwenezi district, about 150km away from the flooded Tokwe-Mukorsi dam basin where they lived.

The resettled villagers are staunchly resisting plans to evict them from the land to make way for Bhasikiti’s business, according to the DTZ.

The ethanol project has been in the approval stages for years. It would save the country billions in fuel imports.

It is scandalous that this is happening to a ranch owned by the DTZ which itself was founded by the late Vice President in 1989.

President Robert Mugabe cannot allow this project to be delayed indefinitely, moreso after his own party campaigned on a platform to create two million jobs.

This biofuels project is long overdue and the ruling party must summon its collective political will to pass it.

Politics should not be allowed to clog up the works. It’s unfortunate the nation’s needs can be so easily cast aside because one man and his interests.

Comments (3)

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water.. - 30 June 2014

Its Basikiti at Nyuanetsi ranch and its Basikiti at Yetom/Marah ranch. If what we here is true, then the president must look into this man' actions.

open eye - 1 July 2014

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five star - 2 July 2014

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