Gweru slams Chinese firms for not having CSR programmes

By Stephen Chadenga

Gweru urban councillors have taken a swipe at Chinese firms operating in the city for failing to effect corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes despite being offered land by the local authority to set up their businesses.

Speaking at an ordinary council meeting recently, environment, works and town planning chairperson, Trust Chineni said council expects the Chinese companies to contribute towards the rehabilitation of some infrastructure particularly roads.

“We have Chinese firms especially those in the chrome business getting commercial stands from council to set up their businesses in the industrial area,”Chineni said.

“We see their heavy trucks carrying chrome and at times during midnight. They use our roads and yet we have never heard of them attempting to help council in the rehabilitation of these roads.”

Chineni added: “Look at what other big companies like Unki and Mimosa mines do. They construct roads and even put street lights on such roads. Surely our Chinese friends can also do something to emulate such.”

Mayor Josiah Makombe agreed and said council could approach the firms for assistance in certain areas.

Chinese firms particularly those in the chrome business have often been accused of environmental degradation.

Those operating in and around the Zvishavane area have left open pits that have become death traps for cattle and human beings.

Whereas some companies build houses for their employees most Chinese operating in Gweru industrial areas set up their accommodation facilities at the business
premises.

Meanwhile MDC legislator (proportional representation), Memory Mbondiya has urged women to attend budget consultations for local authorities.

She said women were the most affected when it comes to service delivery issues as they had to grapple with issues such as water and sanitation and refuse collection among others.

“As women let us go in our numbers and attend those budget consultation meetings from ward level,”she said.

“We should demand gender sensitive budgets because at the end of the day most issues to do with service delivery affect us.”