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Mavima’s 3 500 tree plants wilt, die


Mavima’s 3 500 tree plants wilt, die



GWERU – An ambitious tree planting project by Bata Shoe Company and the Minister of State for Midlands Larry Mavima has collapsed after all 3 500 trees planted on a piece of land in Gweru in 2019 wilted and died due to negligence.

What remains at the site is a rusty billboard announcing the project that was supposed to run for five years into 2023.

The trees were planted as part of the country’s programme to re-green Zimbabwe by planting as many trees as possible on the

1st of December of each year.

The project done in conjunction with Bata had a target to plant 3 500 trees annually on the open piece of land that is opposite Gweru CMED but no one has gone back to the place four years later.

Residents who called The Mirror expressed concern at the neglect of duty and said that a lot of public resources were poured in to start the project.

Had the project been followed through, the number of trees planted by now would have been 14 000, said the sources.

Both Minister Mavhima and 

Bata manager Simon Mutisiya could not be reached for comment as  their phones were not reachable.

Ironically the billboard erected at the site announcing the ambitious project still stands there yawning. A visit by The Mirror showed that there was not one tree surviving. The billboard has become rusty embodying Government’s general attitude towards business.

Several organisations are planting trees with Government officials officiating but thereafter no one comes back to look at the state of the plantations. This has led to uncountable abandoned projects leading to a decay of many government projects. 

Several people who talked to this publication accused the minister of not exercising his oversight role and failing to complement corporate social responsibility efforts by the private sector. One resident who requested anonymity said the project was abandoned because it does not have any benefit to the Minister. 

“If there was something of personal benefit to the minister he could have been visiting the project after every two or three months. Just because there is nothing of benefit to him that is why the project has been abandoned. 

“This is how most of the projects are dying in their infancy because there is no will power to monitor them from those ministers. This is not the only project that was neglected. We have several other that we cannot mention,” said one resident.    

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