TelOne, in partnership with the Norton Member of the National Assembly Temba Mliswa, local authority for the town and members of the community embarked on a massive cleanup campaign at Ngoni Shopping centre before planting trees at Knowe Primary School in Norton.
TelOne Acting Managing Director, Mr Joseph Machiva said the initiative was in line with the National Cleanup Campaign spearheaded by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He said every first Friday of the month is one of the many important days on both the national and TelOne calendars when his organisation takes its time to come out to the communities to assert its relevance to the people and indeed TelOne’s commitment to people’s well-being through supporting cleanliness.
“As some of you may already be aware, TelOne has defined Environmental management as a key thematic area for our corporate social investment programming. As such we have, since 2016 been involved in several initiatives aimed at contributing to sustainable environmental management. Chief among these initiatives has been the ‘Provide-A-Bin’ Programme whose main aim is to support clean cities through providing litter receptacles,” Mr. Machiva said.
Mr. Machiva said the”Provide-A-Bin’ programme has so far taken TelOne to 13 cities, towns and district centres where it has donated almost 5000 litter bins collectively.
“Today we are happy to announce that having donated bins to most of these major centres around Zimbabwe, we have now started targeting shopping centres in residential areas. To this end, we are happy to have Norton as one of our beneficiaries with a donation of 50 litter bins. We want to continue to strengthen our role as a major player in the cleaning of our country hence we make sure that in any place where we donate bins, we conduct a clean-up. We also engage members of the community who contribute to the cause through making good use of the bins, protecting the bins and sustaining the initiative of organised clean-ups. We have deliberately now scheduled our environment programmes to align with the National Clean ups as declared by the president, His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa. We are happy that our already existing efforts are in sync with the Government vision and thrust.
“Indeed, our Corporate Social Investment theme “Connecting People, Building Communities” speaks to who we are – at TelOne we are not just about providing communication solutions but also about connecting people and businesses, building the community and establishing lasting relationships through our services and social investment like we have just done today.”
Honourable Temba Mliswa and Norton Town Council representatives welcomed the donation.
“We do look forward to strengthening our relationship even as TelOne drives the agenda of smart cities and provision of connectivity to all residents and council offices and establishments. We are here as a service provider of choice with cost effective solutions. Thank you to all who believe in TelOne and believe in this cause and have made time to be here with us today,” Mr. Machiva added.
In his acceptance speech, Honourable Mliswa said TelOne had led by example since corporate social responsibility starts by making sure that towns and cities are clean and hygienic.
“Investors consider a clean, habitable and health environment before bringing in business to a particular community. This is the first attraction for investment. This initiative requires the participation of every citizen. Rwanda is now the cleanest and smartest city in Africa because the initiative was started by President Kagame and every citizen bought into the noble idea. In the same vein, I urge every citizen to heed the call by President Mnangagwa, ” Honourable Mliswa said.
The MP also pledged, in partnership with local businesses in Norton, to donate five computers and a printer to each of the five schools that participated in the clean up in Norton.
Industrialist and transport operator from Norton, Tracy O’Connor, said she was working in to rope in the captains of industry into the national cleanup campaign.
“If we get the industry in the clean up campaign, we attract investors to Norton. As it stands, we compete for investors with industries in Ruwa and Chitungwiza. In Norton, apart from Zimplats, we have Russian platinum investors who are expected to rack in more than US$3 billion worth of investment. I am in the process of coming up with a cleanup policy for the local industry as we attract employment,” O’Connor said.
Kizito Muhomba, the Town Secretary of Norton Council said the local authority embraces the cleanup campaign.
“Littering is a major challenge countrywide. The national cleanup campaign will inculcate a culture of hygiene and cleanliness among our people. As witnessed by the presence of our management and staff, Norton Council takes the cleanup initiative seriously,” Mr. Muhomba said.
Mrs. Letwina Nyagano, the Vice Chairperson of the Norton Development Association (NODA) said apart from cleaning their locality, her organisation had taken a further step of planting trees on the monthly cleanup day so as to ensure a sustainable environment. She added that the cleanup campaign will not be limited to the cleanup days only but it should be an every day routine for all.