By Beatific Gumbwanda
CHIREDZI – President Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is set to fulfill the wishes of his predecessor, the late Robert Mugabe as he is expected to commission the Kilimanjaro sugarcane project being undertaken by government in partnership with Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe.
On November 09, President Mnangagwa is expected to commission the project which sits on 4 000 hectares of virgin land.
Chiredzi District Development Coordinator (DDC) Lovemore Chisema told TellZim News that he was looking forward to the commissioning of the project.
“Yes, the President is coming on the 9th of November to launch, officially, the Kilimanjaro project, where THZ is in partnership to clear the virgin land at a cost recovery basis,” said Chisema.
The project began during the reign of Mugabe as part of his then government’s indigenous economic empowerment drive, and is expected to benefit several new small-scale sugarcane farmers.
Local traditional leaders; Chief Tshovani, Chief Gudo and Chief Sengwe first proposed the project to Mugabe in 2012 in their push for new land to be cleared for cultivation rather than seize already productive land from Tongaat Hulett for distribution to locals.
They argued that the seizure of productive land from the company would be detrimental to many jobs and the livelihoods of many families.
Vast portions of the company’s estates were seized nonetheless but a more fervent push for the seizure of even more land in 2017 did not succeed.