ZVISHAVANE - Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) here are planning to demonstrate against Mimosa Mine which they accuse of giving all tenders to people and companies from Harare while marginalising local capacity, TellZim News can reveal.
They claim local businesses are being overlooked by mine bosses whom they accuse of exploiting local resources to enrich those in Harare.
They also alleged that the giant platinum miner is giving all tenders to companies that are being formed by its former employees who are based in Harare.
Midlands SMEs secretary general, Bigboy Murenga said as a result of that, local businesses were not growing even though it was their environment being exploited.
"Local companies cannot grow because Mimosa is supporting companies from outside this area while ignoring local companies that can do similar work. We are surprised the company does not want to support local SMEs," said Murenga.
He said various players in the province's SMEs sector had met and planned to stage a demonstration against the company to protest what they regard a grossly an unfair practice.
"People are planning to march to Mimosa premises but I personally have worked to find a more amicable way of engaging the company. We have since secured an appointment with the director of community relations so that the issue is discussed peacefully," Murenga said.
Another small business owner said Mimosa could no longer be allowed to do what he claimed the company had always been doing.
"They are breaching the country's SMEs policy which demands that 25 percent of procurement requirements must benefit local SMEs. We can no longer accept that. Why is everything about Harare when it is our own resources being mined?" said the business woman.
Others said Mimosa's products and services requirements such as security, cleaning, construction, engineering, and printing were all benefitting non-local companies.
"Mimosa is buying meat from Koala Abattoirs and eggs from Irvine's yet we have local farmers who produce those goods and would rise from poverty if the company buys from them," said another business person.
Mimosa director of community relations, Nikita Chikombero refused to comment, saying he was not aware of the grievances.
"I will have to talk to my superiors in Harare first. I really don't know anything about that," said Chikombero.
He could also not be drawn into commenting on whether or not there was indeed some substance in the accusations that are being been raised by local SMEs.business