Poor families worldwide have lost, long held farmlands, some ancestral, to investors whose projects have caused sudden resettlements. Usually rendered homeless and landless, the poor have seen the face of deeper poverty as corporate interests bulldoze their hopes and aspirations into the past. The families in Belemu, Mafinge and Alitoni of Ndola rural now face resettlement in modern houses opens a rare page in the history of human compensation- which places Zambezi Portland Cement and indigenous investor Rajan Mahtani, whose new investment program will cost them their land and houses, in a unique benevolent class. How rare it is that compensation ever stretches that far: in most instances the poor receive a meagre pittance and are forced into helpless solitude. Joyous disbelief has engulfed Chiwala chiefdom families who at some point stared death in the face only to see deliverance overtake them like lightening out of a blue sky.
Such unheralded goodwill exceeds traditional corporate social responsibility, breaching the boundaries of standard, rigid compensatory practice. As outlined in the report, the houses to be built for the dear souls will go with an entire transformation of their living environs. This is the language that millions of displaced, impoverished families have longed to hear for decades on end. That this is the happening at the behest of a highly visible business name, in the form of a distinguished local investor and a formidable cement production firm, is simply fantastic.
There are manifold lessons in this turn of events for all leaders in corporate governance, legislation, civic authority, politics, civil society, traditional affairs, community life and church circles. And the first lesson is that when leaders are willing and sincere, they can move mountains. It was Jesus Christ who said all things are possible to them that believe.
ARTICLE:COURTESY OF THIS IS ZAMBIA MAGAZINE.