Mutoko cries for Devolution of Power

Mutoko cries for Devolution of Power
Published: 15 December 2017 (497 Views)
People in Mutoko are reportedly crying for devolution of power because they are hardly benefiting from the central government.

Mutoko Rural District Council feels cheated by companies mining black granite in the district, as they are paying a pittance to the local authority, a senior council official has said. In an interview yesterday, the rural council's chief executive officer, Peter Sigauke, said the companies were paying $1 per tonne to the local authority.

"We are receiving only $1 per tonne and we feel we are being cheated and this has ruined our relationship with the miners. Our relationship with the companies mining the black granite in our district can be described as tricky," he said.

"It's a cat and mouse relationship, and we have since gathered that there is no faithfulness in their operations because they do not reveal their actual production output to us."

Sigauke said the situation had been worsened by the inaction of the Dimension Stone Producers Association, a group made up of representatives of the companies exploiting the black granite.

"A few years ago, the Dimension Stone Producers' Association was lively and we would channel our grievances through them," he said. "The association is no longer functional and if we have issues with the quarry operators, we are forced to deal with individuals and that is not effective."

In 2015, Mutoko RDC dragged some of the companies involved in the quarry stone business to court in order to force them to pay, but was later advised to drop the lawsuits and engage by then Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo.

The council sued the Natural Stone Exporting Company, Ilford Services and Zimbabwe International Quarries demanding development levies for 2009 at a fixed rate $1 000 per unit, together with interest accrued during the same period.

The companies exporting black granite are racking in huge sums of money, yet they remit little to the local authority. About 98 percent of black granite extracted from Mutoko is exported to European markets and earns the exporters millions in foreign currency


- Byo24News

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