Residents up in arms over equipment looting

Source: Residents up in arms over equipment looting – Sunday News May 8, 2016

Lynnia Ndlovu
RESIDENTS of West Nicholson in Matabeleland South recently besieged a former Zimcan factory director’s residence demanding that he leaves the area as he was exploiting them and going against a directive that was given by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko when he visited the area in August last year.
VP Mphoko declared when he visited West Nicholson that the factory has a chance to be resuscitated and asked the owners to produce a report which contains a list of needs for its revival. The factory needs at least $3 million to be restored to its previous state.

However, residents and former workers believe that a former partner to the mine Mr Clinton Rogers was working flat out to derail the Government promise. Mr Rogers however, did not come out but residents littered the area around his house with posters with messages demanding that “justice be done”.

They also demanded Mr Duncan (Harry) Greaves who is the Farvic Mine executive director whom they suspect to be stripping equipment from the factory to move out of their area.

West Nicholson Development Committee chairperson Miss Thabo Nare said they did not like what was happening in the area
“VP Mphoko came and promised he will revive the factory and we will benefit from it again, but it’s sad that just after he left, the Farvic Mine owners came in and took material to develop their mine. Former Zimcan workers were chased out of factory houses and are now living in squatter houses. Mr Greaves came in and claimed they were now his. We are not allowed to build residential houses without Rodgers’ approval since he has an agreement claim of 1943 that no one will own that land except his family. There are other premises he was denied authority of yet he claims to own them. He only allows his friends from nearby farms to build permanent houses while we suffer,” she said.

“We also need to develop our place. We are still holding on to VP Mphoko’s words that he will revive the factory therefore creating employment so we are never going to let these people destroy it in front of our eyes. Why didn’t they explain to him when he came if they had other plans contrary to what he was suggesting about the factory?”

The committee vice-chairperson, Mr Mpumelelo Nyoni said that they were now appealing to VP Mphoko to come back and rescue them from these “so called land owners”.

He added that the mine was not even ploughing back to the community but was only abusing the locals.
Mr Rodgers confirmed that there was a demonstration at West Nicholson but said he could not comment much on it over the phone.

COMMENTS

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    Its a big surprise to read such articles with a lot of journalistic bias where either the journalist or the sources are pursuing a petty political agenda. What is written here contradicts the actual facts on the situation in west Nicholson. For starters, the so called beef canning factory ceased operations probably in the early 90s and since then the infrastructure in question has undergone a lot of decay and had been vandalized. What the reporter failed to highlight is that the properties underwent a major facelift when Mr Greaves and his Farvic Consolidated Mines took over. I wonder if even a single nail was taken from the factory to Farvic mine as the mine is fully independent and is able to import state of the art equipment. On the other hand, west Nicholson clinic is fully run by Farvic mines and for quite a long time ZANU PF activities have even been funded by Mr Greaves. and as of now the ZANU PF offices at West Nic was provided by Farvic.
    As a progressive Zimbabwean I would very much like to see the factory reviving but there are some issues that people like me, the journalist here and the ZANU PF supporters must know. The issue of ownership of the property should be clarified. Where will the beef come from? Will this regime revive a single factory when it has actually led to the demise of many and the economy at large?