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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 20 JULY 2021 VOL 47 NO 66
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Tuesday, 20th July, 2021
The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. SPEAKER
NON-ADVERSE REPORTS RECEIVED FROM THE
PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE
THE HON. SPEAKER: I have to inform the House that I have received Non-Adverse Reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee on the following Bills and Statutory Instruments:
- Cyber and Data Protection Bill [H. B. 18A, 2019];
- Independent Complaints Commission Bill [H. B. 5, 2021];
- Forests Amendment Bill [H. B. 19A, 2021]; and
- All Statutory Instruments published in the Gazette during the month of June 2021.
HON. T. MOYO: I rise on a point of national interest. The issue is so important and it concerns $1.5bn that cotton farmers are being owed by the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe. The issue was brought to this House end of April and the Hon Minister of Finance and Economic Development, together with the Hon. Minister of Agriculture, agreed that cotton farmers were going to expeditiously receive their payment, but now they have waited for more than three months. From April to July, they have not received any payment. Mr. Speaker Sir, I am appealing to your office to ask the Hon. Minister of Finance to come and apprise this House on why there are delays in disbursement of funds to cotton farmers. If cotton farmers are not paid in time, my fear is cotton production is going to decline drastically, and that is going to affect the economy because cotton is the second biggest crop in terms of bringing exports. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. I suggest you deal
with the matter expeditiously tomorrow by asking that question to the Hon. Minister of Finance so that it is dealt with immediately.
HON. TONGOFA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I rise on a
point of national interest. We noticed that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and Ministry of Finance introduced the 50 dollar note denomination for convenience of buyers and businesses. However, the effects of the higher denomination are that as soon as the higher denomination is introduced, the smaller denominations are now denied in the market. I would like to know what the RBZ is doing to ensure that the public do not deny the smaller denominations. Currently, people are rejecting 10 dollar note. Previously they denied the five dollar note and all this starts from Harare. I wonder whether they are doing enough to ensure that the phenomenon does not occur each time they add a new denomination.
We see other nations like South Africa, they have 1 rand, 2 rand, 5 rand, 10 rand, 20 rand up to 200 rand as denominations but here we only have 50 dollar which was introduced and the five dollar note has disappeared. The 10 dollar already is now being attacked, it is no longer accepted in the market. We just wonder what they are doing. The source of that issue here, in this city, from Mbare - that is where it starts. I wonder what they are doing as the monetary authority to ensure that such a phenomenon does not occur each time they add a higher denomination in the market. I thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: A very good observation, but I
think raise it tomorrow with the Hon. Minister of Finance so that we get some form of debate.
HON. TEKESHE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My point of
privilege is on the promise which Parliament promised us. In 2018, we were promised constituency offices which were to be manned by degreed people and everybody clapped hands in here. Now, three years down the line, zero. Mr. Speaker, in rural constituencies it is very difficult to operate with no place to be found. Some stay very far and for that person to travel from that far to come to my home, is difficult.
So we should have constituency offices, even if they are not manned by degreed people, we do not mind. We will put our own people so that when I am here and someone visits my office, he will speak to whoever is there, then when I am back to the constituency, I attend to that. I know you as an urgent person Mr. Speaker but I do not know why on this one. I am appealing to you sir. It is two years, yes but we need those offices. I propose that Parliament engage the Minister of Local Government who superintends over all councils so that we get offices from councils. Thank you.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you very much Hon.
Tekeshe. I do not know why you want to slaughter the Hon. Speaker in this august House, when his offices are quite open for discussions, and the office of the Clerk as well. What has happened is the fiscal space created mbira dzakondo, which we are trying to untie. Only last week, I was discussing with the Clerk of Parliament to say even if we do not have sufficient funds, let us start with prototype offices for constituencies, at least one office in each province. I like the idea of approaching local authorities, but we have gone further to also approach the private sector, they might have some building which they can make available to Members of Parliament for use as constituency offices.
I am aware of one Hon. Member who has come to that
arrangement and established his constituency office there. Meanwhile, even if we establish these constituencies, you are talking of distances. The distances will still occur, even if you put that structure centrally in your constituency - people have to travel. Now we are in a digital economy, I urge you to create platforms using your cellphones and the gadgets that Parliament gave you, so that you are on line with members of your electorate from wherever they are. That is feasible, you do not have to wait for the structure. That is a moving office in any case and it is very successful if properly constituted. There may be challenges here and there where there are problems of internet; but if you create those platforms, meanwhile, I am sure you should in conversation with the electorate except for areas where the internet may be a problem and for the elderly as well.
So, we are seized with the matter and I am hoping that before the end of this Ninth Parliament, we shall have established at least one constituency office in the ten provinces of our country. When budget time comes, I hope you will be so vociferous in ensuring that we have a very healthy budgetary allocations for constituency offices in the Tenth Parliament – [AN HON. MEMBER: Inaudible interjection.] – It is not far away after all. I will pray for you to come back and I will also talk to the “masvikiros.”
(v)HON. CHIMINA: I want to raise a point of privilege.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Please proceed.
(v)HON. CHIMINA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My point of
privilege is with regards to the CDF disbursements. It is taking too long to disburse the CDF, so we will not be able to finish off our proposed projects due to inflation. I appeal to your office to help us. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE HON. SPEAKER: You have a committee responsible for
that, chaired by the Deputy Clerk Ms. Dingani. You should have addressed yourself to that committee. All those that have come up with well-defined projects have got their money. So, the delay I think is on your side. You did not come up with the projects on time. About 75% or 80% of Members who have brought in their projects have got their money.
(v)HON. NDIWENI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My point of privilege is in relation to the data bundles package purchasing for Hon. Members. I would like to applaud Parliament and commend them for that gesture. However Mr. Speaker Sir, some of us in different constituencies have a problem with the NetOne connectivity. I am pleading through your office that if Parliament could avail Econet data bundles as well, where NetOne data bundles are not helpful. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you. We will look into the
matter but there is a Standing Order that invites Hon. Members who have problems with their data bundles to approach the ICT Department to get corrective action.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
HON. MUTAMBISI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I move that
Orders of the Day, Number s1 to 5 on today’s Order Paper be stood over until Orders of the Day, Numbers 6 and 11 have been disposed of.
HON. MPARIWA: I second.
Motion put and agreed to.
RESUSCITATION OF THE ECONOMY THROUGH DOMESTIC
HON. DR. KHUPE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to move the motion standing in my name that this House;
MINDFUL that domestic resource mobilisation is essential in ameliorating the burden of repayment of overdue debts and bringing about normalcy in the resuscitation of the economic sector in the country;
ACKNOWLEDGING the inalienable rights of the people to better
living conditions through the utilisation of their country’s diverse mineral resources such as the untapped lucrative coal bed methane gas which still lies untapped in Lupane yet it can generate millions of revenue to the State;
COGNISANT that the natural methane gas reserves in Lupane which were discovered several decades ago have the potential to strengthen the economy of the country in a very short time by boosting the energy generation capacity;
FURTHER COGNISANT that Zimbabwe is not a party to the
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global standard for the good governance of mineral resources which seeks to address the key governance issues in the extractive sector;
NOW, THEREFORE, CALLS upon the Executive to;
- Expeditiously find a reliable investor to convene operation on the methane gas resources on a Build-Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.
- Prioritise the engagement of locals in this project in view of their background knowledge of the prevailing conditions in the area.
- Consider joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) as a matter of urgency in view of the benefits that can be accrued along the value chain starting from the point of extraction right up to where government generates revenue.
HON. GABBUZA: I second.
HON. DR. KHUPE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.
First of all, I would like to thank you for affording me this opportunity to move the motion which is before us.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to begin by emphasising that Domestic Resource Mobilisation is a process whereby countries are supposed to raise and spend their own resources to provide for their citizens. It is also a long term trajectory towards sustainable development.
When Sustainable Development Goals were established in 2015, it was realised that support from Development Partners was never going to be enough, hence the reason why countries were encouraged to step up their efforts in raising domestic resources to cater for five key SDGs, which are education, health, roads, electricity and water.
Mr. Speaker Sir, domestic resource mobilisation does not only provide countries with resources in order to alleviate poverty and give people a better life but it also helps countries to move out of donor dependence.
Mr. Speaker Sir, development is the ability of a country to satisfy the needs of the people using its own resources. The needs being food, shelter, health, education, water and sanitation among others. It is therefore critical for countries to make sure that they raise and spend their own resources in providing for these needs.
Domestic resource mobilisation is also key for economic growth and poverty eradication. It is also key in providing resources to clear our debts. As Zimbabwe, we are sitting on a debt of about US$10 billion. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is clear that we might not be able to clear that debt any time soon. At the same time, we might leave a debt burden to our great grand children. This is pointing to the importance of mobilising resources domestically.
Zimbabwe is a very rich country which is endowed with enormous mineral resources such as gold, diamond, platinum, gold and coal-bed methane gas among the 60 minerals we have in this country. The sad reality though is that there is absolutely nothing to show that we have such mineral resources as the majority of Zimbabweans are living in abject poverty.
Lupane District, one area which has one such mineral resource out of the 60 which remains untapped. It is a district which is surrounded by a sea of poverty whilst at the same time, it has got this lucrative mineral resource coal-bed methane gas. This project has seen a lot of ribbon cutting events to kick start it. This mineral resource is worth billions of dollars and has a potential of generating thousands of jobs in line with NDS 1 which anticipates creating at least 760 000 formal jobs in five years.
This project has been on the cards for a long time now and was granted a National Project Status in 2007 and the sad reality is that up to now, 14 years later, nothing has come out except for talk only. It is high time Government moves away from what I call NATO: ‘No Action but
Talk Only’. According to findings, Zimbabwe’s gas reserves are estimated to be more than those of other countries in the region. It is estimated that Zimbabwe has more than 40 trillion Cubic Feet of potentially recoverable gas in Lupane-Lubimbi area. This is a clear indication that we are sitting on billions of dollars.
This project will guarantee investment in Poverty Eradication, Education, Health, Job Creation and Economic Development particularly in Lupane District in line with the Devolution Agenda where power must be devolved to local communities to facilitate equal development. This project is a massive investment that will, to a large extent, transform the Zimbabbwe economy in synch with Vision 2030 where Government envisages achieving an Upper-Middle Income Economy Status. Methane gas is mostly used for power generation and fertilizer production.
First of all, I would like to talk about power generation. The truth of the matter is that we have an energy crisis in Zimbabwe. This is so because our grid is unable to generate enough electricity to meet the national demand. At the same time, we cannot pay for adequate power imports owing to foreign currency shortages. Meanwhile, the total demand for electricity is currently around 2030 megawatts, whereas the supply is only around 1200 megawatts; meaning we have a deficit of around 1830 megawatts, hence the reason why we are importing 35% of Zimbabwe Power from South African and Mozambique. On the other hand, most of the people in rural areas use firewood for cooking, causing deforestation. According to the Forestry Commission, Zimbabwe is losing about 330 000 hectares of forests annually. If the situation continues without being addressed, we will end up with no forest at all.
This is pointing to the urgent need for Government to develop a clear strategy on how to extract gas in Lupane-Lubimbi area. Methane gas is only used for the production of fertilizer. The sad reality is that currently we are importing fertilizer. In 2020, Zimbabwe imported fertilizer to the tune of US$235 million. This money can build up to
2350 schools at a cost of USD100 000 each and this will translate into 180 schools in all the 13 districts in Matabeleland North and about 12 schools in each of the 193 wards in Matabeleland North. This will result in children not having to walk for more than 5 km every day going to school.
I am raising these issues to demonstrate the urgent need for the extraction of coal-bed methane gas in Lupane-Lubimbi area. It is therefore of paramount importance that this project is kick-started so that we stop importing fertilizer and energy spending billions of dollars which can be invested in other areas such as education, health, water and sanitation just to mention a few. In view of this, I am therefore calling on Government as a matter of urgency, to look for a big investor on a Build Operate and Transfer (B.O.T) agreement so that the investor deposits about 10-15 billion USD to the country and be allowed to harvest the gas for about 20-25 years and then transfer to Government.
Priority must be given to locals like Mr. Strive Masiyiwa because they understand our situation very well and recently, he became the first black billionaire to break into the Sunday Times Rich list. This 10-15 billion dollars project must be injected into agriculture, manufacturing and mining sectors which will in turn, boost our economy and generate the much needed jobs and foreign currency. This money will also be used to clear our debt arrears so that we start to operate a normal economy.
Development is not Rocket Science, but development is about copying from others. It is about discovering what others did to improve their economies. It is high time we discover what other countries did with their mineral resources in building strong economies. A case in point is Angola. They looked for a big investor for their oil on a B.O.T. basis but look at where they are now. Dubai was a desert but look at what they did with their oil. They turned their country into an attraction for everyone because they took advantage of their God given mineral resource.
Zimbabwe used to be the Jewel of Africa. It used to be the bread basket of Africa. It used to be the envy of the whole world. We want Zimbabwe to return to its former glory and this can only happen if we expand our energy in finding a big investor who will start to tap into the untapped lucrative coal-bed methane gas in Lupane-Lubimbi area so that it changes the fortunes of Zimbabwe in order for our beautiful country to become great again and give every Zimbabwean a better life. Let us take advantage of our God given mineral resource.
In order to get maximum profit from our God given resources, it is of great importance that mechanisms be put in place to ensure that there is transparency in the extraction of this particular lucrative mineral resource. There is an urgent need for Zimbabwe to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (E.I.T.I.) a global standard for the good governance of mineral resources.
Once we become a member of the ( E.I.T.I.) there is going to be guarantee of information along the value chain beginning with the point of extraction to how the revenue gets to Government and how it is ploughed back to the communities. This will have a multiplier effect in that we are all going to benefit from our God given mineral resources
That same revenue gets to Government and how that same revcenue is ploughed back to the communities. Once that happens, there is going to be a multiplier effect such that we are all going to enjoy our God given mineral resource.
I would like to conclude by saying there is not even a single person who was born poor. Every person was born with their own potential but people are poor because of institutions that are built by Government.
People are poor because of systems that are created by Government.
People are poor because of policies that are formulated by Government. Mr. Speaker Sir, if Government was to build good institutions, create good systems and formulate good policies, every person will be able to explore their potential and have capacity to cultivate personal growth and the growth of their countries towards the developmental path. I therefore would like to urge Government to please build good strong institutions around this project. Can you please create good systems of governance around this project? Can you please formulate good investor policies around this project so that we attract a big investor who will come and invest in this big mineral resource and give us billions of dollars? This will transform this economy so that it becomes a giant once more and that every person in this country has a better life.
Lastly, I hope and trust that Government will give priority to this project which has been on the cards for a long time so that it moves away from being just a dream but becomes reality. Government must walk the talk and talk the walk in regards to this project. Within six months, we want to see something happening in Lupane. We want to see gas oozing out Mr. Speaker Sir.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to end by a quote from our great icon, the late Tata Madiba who said “It always seems impossible until it is done”. Yes, it might seem impossible to find a big investor who will kick start the long awaited project, but the bottom line is that it can be done, yes, it can. We can get an investor to come and invest in this lucrative project which has been lying idle without being tapped. We want an investor to tap into the untapped lucrative methane gas so that we create billions of dollars, we create jobs for our people, and that every Zimbabwean will have a better life. I rest my case, (HON.
MEMBERS: Hear, hear.)
HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, let me thank Hon. Dr. Khupe for a good and progressive motion. When Hon. Dr. Khupe asked me to second this motion I thought this was indeed a motion in its rightful place. The issues about methane gas in Lupane stand to directly benefit my Constituency which is just a few kilometers from Lupane. Be that as it may, clearly, the gas is not located in Lupane alone because it spreads all through the Zambezi Valley.
Mr. Speaker, let me start by explaining exactly what we are missing as a country. The potential we are losing as a country, sometimes we miss the forests for the trees or the other way round.
Methane gas is the future, but as a country we do not seem to see that. What is methane gas, we should appreciate that minerals exist as families. Where there is methane gas, there is likely to be oil. Where there is oil there is likely to be coal and where there is coal there is likely to be diamonds because all these minerals are from one chemical element carbon.
Diamond is a product of carbon just as good as coal so diamond is allotropy of coal, they are made of the same element. What only differs is the fact that there are certain factors that are important. If you take coal and push it further into high temperatures and high pressure, it is likely to become diamonds, the same coal where it exists, gives you oil and gas. These are potentials that we are seeing which the country is just leaving untapped.
What is the situation about gas, the truth is coal, gas, all these are carboniferous minerals, they are a product of sedimentation of a lot of organic matter over a long time. In the geological time, it is supposed to be around 340 million years ago. It is believed that many forests in valleys, after the forest there was a lot of ice melted from the north and all the forests in the tropics were buried in swamps and where were these swamps, wherever there was a valley.
So, effectively, it means that as country there is a potential to get coal, gas, oil and diamonds within the whole of the Zambezi Valley, no wonder why within Lupane, Hwange and Muzarabani, all those areas are potential for those four minerals. The same with the South Eastern Low veld, but as a country we have done very little exploration in those areas. These are the potentials that as a country we must look forward and ensure that we quickly tap and invest resources in those areas because they are not tapped.
There are various countries in this world which have benefitted immensely from the mineral gas as rightly indicated by Hon. Dr. Khupe.
Within Africa, I think it is everyone’s knowledge that countries like Angola they get almost 75% of their annual income from only oil and no other substantial minerals. We have various other countries like Egypt, Algeria, have a lot of oil and gas.
Hon. Dr. Khupe clearly indicated that there is a lot of benefits ….
Hon. Mukaratigwa and Hon. Dr. Nyashanyu having been talking above their voices.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order, Hon. Mukaratigwa and Hon. Dr. Nyashanu, when a fellow Hon. Member is on the floor, you must respect the Hon. Member and not talk above your voices. Hon. Dr.
Nyashanu itai nyasha dza Mwari.
HON. GABBUZA: Thank you Mr. Speaker, like has been
indicated, there are a lot of multiple effects and multiple benefits from the existence of that gas. So many subsidiary industries will definitely arise out of the mining of gas. Clearly the petrochemical industry and the energy sector as clearly indicated. As you we all know, this country is short of energy - 2000 megawatts at most is what we need currently with our depressed industry. If the industry - as we are aspiring for the 2030 Middle Income Economy, it is believed that from studies we need about 9000 megawatts. At Lupane alone there is potential to put up a gas fired power station which can generate that amount of energy – 9 000. Currently, we are wasting time dealing with coal and yet we know that coal is one of the dirtiest energies that the whole world is condemning and the whole world is moving towards green energies.
One of the green energies is that coal bed methane which could be of advantage to us if we explored it and like I indicated, is the energy of the future. Mr. Speaker, the millennium development goals requires that by 2030 world over, all countries must aspire to have an energy mix, it has at least more than 90% green energy….
HON. MUCHIMWE: On a point of order.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Hon. Muchimwe, can you be orderly and listen to the contribution by Hon. Gabbuza? Please proceed.
HON. GABBUZA: Mr. Speaker, I was indicating that once we develop that sector, we are automatically moving into the world requirement of having a better energy mix with a lot of green energies provided by the coal bed methane gas powered energy station. What are the problems at Lupane? I think there are four critical problems that the Government must address. Since 2000 when Dr. Paul Tromp, a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe discovered the availability of coal bed methane in the Zambezi very little has been done. Studies have indicated that we need to verify the quantities before any investor can come. We need to verify the quantities of the gas underground. How do you do that? You have to sink several boreholes and to date, only five boreholes were sunk to establish how much but we need a lot more than
The last financial figures since 2000 if I remember very well, it was that the country required just US$5 million to try, establish and to verify the quantities of gas that exist in Lupane but since 2000 Mr. Speaker, this country has failed to raise US$5 million which I do not think is correct. We have just not been interested because there is no way as a country we can fail to raise US$5 million for such an important project. Look at Muzarabani; for that verification of the existence of oil in that area, we need just US$11 million and Government has not been able to provide US$11 million to establish that. How much is US$11 million? If it was in my part of the country, it is about 10 elephants to get US$5 million to do the Lupane. So it is not a question of not really failing to raise the US$5 million but just lack of interest or maybe failure to understand the importance of that.
Secondly, one of our major problems as a country is the failure to read the international development trends. What do I mean by that? Mr. Speaker, the whole world is moving into green energy but we are moving going to where others are coming from leaving this very important issue. There are so many examples that we can cite where our Government has failed to understand the world trends. When everyone else was going into cellphones, the Government was busy building the sorting office for letters at the airport there and now it has become white elephant. They were busy building a lot of post offices all over – new post offices like Lupane, Siyazunde and every other district and all have become white elephants because we did not read the world trends where the world was going.
Mr. Speaker, I was watching a documentary yesterday, the world over, they are saying by 2030 they would have banned automobile vehicles using petrol chemical engines, these internal combustion chamber engines, the normal vehicles that we know using petrol and diesel. What are we doing as a country to prepare for that? People are moving into electric vehicles because Toyota and Nissan have announced that in the next three years they will stop manufacturing the normal standard ordinary vehicles that we are using, they will be moving to electric energy vehicles. What are we doing? We are leaving Kamativi which has a lot of lithium that would be required. There are other mines that are going to be potential for the production of lithium. They are all not developed and yet in the next three years that would be a big economic booster and requirement for the world to grow because all vehicles will now be running on electrical energy. We are busy constructing filling stations for the product which is going to be banned very soon. Britain, Russia and Europe have said by 2030 they would have stopped manufacturing those vehicles but we are not preparing ourselves for that.
Mr. Speaker, I think one of our major problems as a country is failure to read the international trends where things are moving to. People are saying methane gas is green energy. That is the way to go but we are just sitting on it, unexplored and nothing is being done. I think this has very serious indictment on the Government. One other problem is the way we operate in the line ministries. One company wanted to start up the exploration of gas and they were charged levies of $16 million by the Ministry of Mines. Well, we need those levies but if you are going to charge $16 million before the investor has put in even any money, has even recouped a single cent, he is still in the exploration but you already want $16 million. Who will come to your country to invest? That resource will remain untapped.
The issue of policy inconsistencies, right now, we are not sure where that falls, where gas fall. Is it the Ministry of Energy, is it Ministry of Mines? Even if we knew where it was; if an investor came there are no regulations, there is no policy which governs gas yet if we were a progressive nation, the moment you discover a commodity you start researching and galvanise yourself around that commodity so that any potential investor would find you ready with all the necessary regulations and Government Instruments to govern the extraction of that product.
My feeling Mr. Speaker is that, such investments like gas, already I have mentioned that US$5 million is required just for verification to know whether there is enough commodity underground. If an investor puts in US$5 million and discovers there is nothing, that money is lost down the drain. That is why it is a requirement that it should be the duty of Government to do its own exploration so that by the time an investor comes we know what quantities are underground.
Possibly such areas where there are projects which are capital intensive, they certainly need to ensure that we put in some mechanisms that will promote the exploration on site because it is big money that is involved. The investor may take six to seven years before it can recoup a single cent from the investment. So the value for money will not be immediately raised. That is why the Government must put some incentives and perhaps designate such areas as export processing zones or whatever mechanisms that can promote so that there are low levies. Just anything that can encourage the investor to put more money because that is capital intensive. Government on its own does not have money,
so it is paramount that we bring in investors and provide them with attractive packages. Mr. Speaker, I think this is a project which I think requires all our minds, especially Central Government to ensure that as we move into the future we have the energy of the future with us not going back to coal. Besides that, coal has been tapped for long and any time soon, the reserves are going to be finished with the rate at which they are mining at Hwange with almost every square metre, there is an investor. Everyone is digging holes all over. In the next few years, that resource will be completely exhausted. We need to move into these energies of the future.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I wish to thank Dr. Khupe for the motion and thank you for giving me the chance and hopefully Hon. Members will find reason to seriously appreciate this motion. I thank you.
(v)HON. MOLOKELA-TSIYE: I also rise in support of the motion raised by Hon. Dr. Khupe and seconded by Hon. Gabbuza. As a Member of Parliament in Matabeleland North which is indisputably one of the most underdeveloped provinces of this country, I rise to support this motion knowing that it could make a big difference in changing the development trajectory of my Province. We really need such major investment and development projects like the one that is being talked about in this motion. It is long overdue.
I am a son of the coal, born and raised in the coal. I know what the mineral can do to transform lives. As a product of Hwange Colliery
Company, educated and raised by the colliery; I know that this project in Lupane can change not just the lives of people of Lupane but the people of both Matabeleland North and Zimbabwe in general. I support this motion in the sense that if it is recognised by the Government of Zimbabwe or the relevant authorities, the urgency of this matter and investment is made to make sure that feasibility studies are finalised and also to make sure that investors are identified. It will transform the social-economic structure of Matabeleland North forever.
`We know that as people of Matabeleland North, which is one of the most underdeveloped Provinces of this country and is mostly rural, our provincial capital is Lupane. Lupane is also one of the peri-urban towns of this country and for a provincial capital, it will need a lot of financial investment to develop infrastructure in terms of health care, housing, roads, sewerage, office building and all other forms of infrastructure – Government office complex related to development. If this big project is sped up and investment is identified and a big company is opened in Lupane, it will change the whole infrastructure and the future of Lupane as our provincial capital.
We also have been talking about the Zambezi water project and how it is supposed to transform Matabeleland North into a green belt and how it is supposed to develop and help the people of Matabeleland North to move forward but as things stand, this has been silent – that is a debate for another day but we know that apart from having this pipe dream for the Zambezi water project, we have an opportunity; a low hanging fruit which is methane gas. As a Member of Parliament from Matabeleland North, I am very excited about this motion and I want to encourage the relevant authorities to make sure that the processes of investing in the methane gas for Lupane is sped up – in particular, the excuse that there is no capital can be addressed by making sure that we have a private-public partnership or a built to transfer the process where a tender is awarded to a company to partner with Government of Zimbabwe and make sure that that private company is the one that initiates the process and make sure that we have a big mine.
We have seen in Botswana for example, a company called
Debswana – that has a public-private partnership between the
Government of Botswana and the private sector; how it has transformed the lives of people of Botswana; social-economic transformation at its best. You have to go to Botswana and see what the diamonds have done. Unfortunately to date in Zimbabwe, we have not seen any benefits from the diamonds or many other minerals that we have.
I can testify for Hwange as a town that we benefited from the coal, that is why Hwange is arguably the most developed part of Matabeleland North in terms of infrastructure because of the coal. The whole town of Hwange is built on the coal. We want to encourage Government to go into public-private partnership to ensure that a company with enough capital to invest is given a tender and they lead the process of exploring the investment for the methane gas.
For me as an MP for Matabeleland North, I think this is going to help address one of the issues of national unity. We are all aware that a lot of people of Matabeleland North are not even staying there right now. They are in South Africa or Botswana and a lot of them are crying about marginalisation of Matabeleland North and underdevelopment but here is a low hanging fruit that the Government can speed up and make sure that once this development or project is done, it will assist or encourage people to stay in the country; to also appreciate that the people of Matabeleland North are now being remembered as part of this country because the National Development Agenda should not only cover other parts of Zimbabwe such as Harare but it should also cover other parts of Zimbabwe such as Matabeleland North. Right now, the people of Matabeleland North feel they have been left behind or they have been forgotten.
So, this is an opportunity for national development; to integrate
Matabeleland North into the rest of the country’s development agenda; to make sure that as the people of Matabeleland North, we benefit from Lupane. We also feel that we are part of Zimbabwe because right now most of us – our breadwinners from Matabeleland North are coming from the diaspora; South Africa and Botswana. We need this process to be sped up. I fully support this motion and I thank Hon. Khupe and Hon. Gabbuza and I pray that the Parliament of Zimbabwe uses all in its power to make sure that the Government of Zimbabwe embraces this project and make sure that we see a new Lupane, a provincial capital that is going to be a pride of Matabeleland and indeed the pride of Zimbabwe. I thank you.
HON. T. MOYO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for recognising me. I would like to thank Hon. Dr. Khupe for moving the motion supported by Hon. Gabbuza.
First and foremost, we need to distinguish between economic development and economic growth. These are two different things.
There are some of us who believe that economic growth is the same as economic development. Where effective domestic resource mobilisation is undertaken, it will lead to both domestic growth and development. In most of the African countries that are developing, I will give an example of South Africa; there is economic growth but there is no economic development. What do I mean by that? The economy is said to be growing when we consider the amount of industrialisation and urbanisation taking place then we can say there is economic growth. In terms of economic development what happens to the generality of the masses in a given country where effective domestic mobilisation is done, the amount of resource mobilisation will culminate in poverty eradication. That is pivotal in terms of African development.
I have appreciated the works Raul Felix Jingwera Valera who wrote a book entitled Strengthening Domestic Resource Mobilisation
Moving From Theory to Practice in Low And Middle Income Countries. If domestic resource mobilisation is done, the ordinary person will appreciate the beauty of economic development. When we say we need direct foreign investment as a way of appreciating domestic or economic development, we want those companies which will contribute to economic development. We must desist and that is why the Government of Zimbabwe in terms of NDS1 has said that there is need for value addition and beneficiation. We do not want those multinational corporations, conglomerates and cartels who just come here, get all the resources in their raw state and then they are exported and what we get are accidental benefits such as roads which are constructed by those multinational corporations. Those roads will not lead to economic growth but will be used as a way of taking away our resources in their raw state.
When His Excellency, Cde Mnangagwa talked about the NDS1 which prioritises exploitation of resources in Zimbabwe to manufacture finished products that will contribute to both economic development and economic growth because revenue is collected. I will give an example of those mines that are venturing into platinum. It is not just platinum which is exported to South Africa, there is gold and several minerals that are exported under the guise of platinum. If we were going to have smelting firms in Zimbabwe to make finished products, that was going to be beneficial to the generality of Zimbabweans. I need to commend Government for this thrust to value-add so that there is development in Zimbabwe.
What are the problems associated with these conglomerates cartels. We have noticed massive investments taking place in Mozambique, especially in the oil sector but these multinational corporations will lead to balkanization of Africa. By balkanization, I am taking of the multinationals assisting mercenaries, we have seen people being beheaded in Mozambique because of the mineral resources in that country and conglomerates interfering, leading to bad governance especially in Cabo del Gado area. We need those companies which are there to do business with us and which are not going to support mercenaries and overthrow governments in Africa.
The motion raised by Hon Dr Khupe is very important. It is not just methane which is found in Lupane but we have observed large quantities of coal in Lisulu. There is a project which has been put on hold on for years by a company called Verify Engineering which is under Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation Science and Development. Verify Engineering intends to promote domestic resource mobilisation by exploiting coal and producing oil, diesel and petrol. The equipment is there which is supposed to be placed in Lisulu Binga. Diesel and petrol will be produced locally and that is very important because we reduce foreign currency importing oil from Iraq because we can produce locally.
The developments which are taking place in Muzarabani are very important because we are going to produce oil in Zimbabwe. Our expectations are that the Government is going to collect a lot of revenue from these mineral resources and those revenues are going to be spread to all sectors of the economy and that will assist in poverty eradication because the vision of an upper middle income economy where by 2030 people should be earning around US$1000 to US$2000 - which means per capita consumption, you calculate the GDP by the total population then you are able to say we have a middle income economy. That is the projection that by 2030 in terms of poverty eradication and affordability of housing, people should have decent housing by 2030. Even those who are not employed should be getting unemployment benefit and that is important and that is largely because of domestic resource mobilisation.
I will also talk about mineral taxes which are very important and indispensable. Like Hon Dr Khupe has said that Zimbabwe has so many mineral endowments numbering above 60, several minerals - why not have a mineral tax. That mineral tax will assist school children to have free education which is in line with the Education Amendment Act of 2020. If a mineral takes those companies which exploit our minerals, that revenue which is collected will also benefit the majority of our people and that will lead to economic development.
Finally, I would like to talk about dependency theories. Dr Khupe pointed out that if we are dependent on donors; donor syndrome, that will not lead to economic development. We want value addition; we want taxes which will lead to the Government being able to pay off all the debts and to be self-sustainable and not rely on donors. According to
Andre Gunder Frank’s theory, the core-periphery theory, he has noted that where cartels are involved, what they simply do is to extract raw materials and leading to under development of the Third World countries Zimbabwe is no exception. Therefore, I am advocating for effective domestic resource mobilisation so that we do not rely on donors. Donors will come and give you strings; you get something, string attached and we become dependent. This leads to underdevelopment. When we talk of under=development, we are saying resources going out are not benefiting the generality of the people. May I thank Dr. Khupe and Hon. Gabbuza for moving this important motion? I thank you.
(v)+HON. L. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. I would like to thank Hon. Dr. Khupe for moving this motion, seconded by Hon. Gabbuza. Mr. Speaker Sir, I want to congratulate the mover and seconder of this motion. When you look at Matabeleland North where I come from and also as a Member of Parliament for Matabeleland North Province, Hon. Speaker, you also come from Matabeleland North, so you know what I am talking about. Matabeleland North is one of the provinces in Zimbabwe but the state of the province, you would think that it is not one of the provinces in Zimbabwe.
It is my wish that Government engages those who work with gas so that Matabeleland North can match with other provinces that we have in the country because the standard of the province is very poor. There are some areas where people still travel long distances to get water. We still have people who have to rely on firewood for cooking and lighting. Why can we not make use of the methane gas that is found in this province? This will improve even the status of the province.
Government should be transparent in the tender process. Most of the times it is the friends of those who are in Government who get tenders, leaving out the people from Matabeleland North especially from
Also schools are far apart. It is very painful to see a child who is doing grade zero travelling long distances, sometimes equivalent to 5 km going to school. If only the Government could understand our plea, methane gas should benefit, especially people from Matabeleland North province not other provinces.
We also do not have nearby clinics in communities. It is not easy for a pregnant woman to access a hospital unless they travel for very long distances. Most of the natural resources that we have in
Matabeleland especially from Matabeleland North, the province which I keep on referring to because I come from there. should be used to build schools and clinics. Natural resources coming from this province, benefit people from other areas such as Chirumhanzu.
In Matabeleland North, there are so many youths who are not working yet job opportunities can be created within the province. At the end of the day, most of our youths cross borders to South Africa to search for greener pastures.
I continue pleading that the Government should work with us to get people who are qualified and can extract the methane gas. It is our wish as people from Matabeleland North to be given a good status when we are among our peers. There is no way we can work towards achieving SDG 1; there are so many diseases because of poverty in our province. As I allude to Matabeleland North Province, let us improve all the districts that are found in this province and not only Lupane. Thank you Mr. Speaker and I also thank the mover of this very important motion.
(v)HON. CHIDAKWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for this
opportunity. I want to thank the mover of this motion because the issue of domestic resource mobilisation is a very important issue, especially when our country is faced with crises. Mr. Speaker Sir, in my view, what is then important or the first thing to do is to inquire what we have in terms of resources as a nation. Mr. Speaker Sir, that will help us to establish the amount of minerals, wildlife and the many natural wonders that we have in our country. To this instance Mr. Speaker Sir, we must ascertain in total the aggregate value of natural resources with which our Zimbabwe is endowed.
Mr. Speaker Sir, I will go further to say we must leverage as well on the nexus between domestic resource mobilisation and devolution.
We will do this through empowering local people as defined by Section 264(d) which enunciates and safeguards the rights of communities to manage their own affairs. Mr. Speaker Sir, we then have to utilise these constitutional privileges.
Provincial councils must be capacitated and equipped as per their mandate in increasing sustainable administration of resources at local level. This will then shape our devolution agenda. Also, it will make work easy for any other entity which will be looking at quantifying what we have as a nation. To that effect, local people continue to suffer while the environment within which they live continues to be extracted and degraded as said by Hon. Molokela and Hon. Gabbuza.
Mr. Speaker Sir, what we can recommend is that local people must be incorporated within environmental assessments and also extraction and guarantee their social instruments through social corporate responsibility. This will incentivise them and they will have a sense of ownership. We should also merge resource mobilisation closely with resource management because if we do not do that, we may mobilise but at the end, we will not see the effects because of the leakages that will be happening. So, we will also need to have resource management and resource monitoring working hand-in-glove.
Any efforts to realise the $12 billion mining vision can materialise only if protection mechanisms are there so as to stop illicit financial flows Mr. Speaker Sir. Africa and Zimbabwe to be particular, lose taxes, levies and potential revenue because of gaps within our system. These gaps need to be closed through practical implementation at all levels of our governance.
Mr. Speaker Sir, the comprehensive use of digital tracing and tracking must be embraced and applied now more than ever. We call upon the use of modern technology in safeguarding natural resources before they deplete without trace as we are seeing and reading in social media and our newspapers. To that end Mr. Speaker Sir, we must, at once, introduce artificial intelligence as a tool to enhance transparency but most importantly, improve efficiency in the management of our domestic resources.
Also public resource management reform becomes the core for this House Mr. Speaker Sir in realising the developmental effects of local resources. It is noteworthy Mr. Speaker Sir that every miner, according to Section 251 of the Mines and Minerals Act, Chapter 21:05 is required to submit monthly mineral production and details of mineral disposal or returns to the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. This compliance is again reiterated as a benchmark to our legal guidance. These requirements must not only be met but seen to be met so as to eliminate incidences of under declaration of quantity and quality of resources that would have been extracted by multi-national companies, local and whoever. These are my submissions Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank you so much.
HON. TOGAREPI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for affording me this opportunity to also bring in my voice on this important motion that was raised by Hon. Dr. Khupe. It is a very important motion for this country. We all want to see Zimbabwe developing and achieving its potential based on its own resources. If they are correctly exploited, they will benefit the people of Zimbabwe and we will develop indeed and move out of poverty and increase the standard of living of our people.
Our Government Mr. Speaker Sir, has already done a lot of work in this area. I think every Zimbabwean is keen to see the Lupane gas being exploited. With all the news and information that has been put on the media, internet and everyone looking at it will see potential. If this resource is exploited, definitely it will bring in positives for our country. Nobody doubts that and I think the observation by Hon. Dr. Khupe is critical that we quickly find ways of exploiting this resource. As I have said, Government has already done a lot in this area. Exploration and estimations have already been done. For example in Lupane, it has already been estimated that the Hwange – Lupane gas will give us about 800 million cubic metres per kilometer. If you compare it with other sources of gas in the region, you will see that we have more potential than others. So, it is critical that we definitely look at it and ensure that we exploit it.
Other studies have also shown that as a country, we have about 40 trillion feet of potential gas in Lupane-Lubimbi area. So, I think in terms of Government’s interest in this, all these researches have been facilitated by our Government, meaning Government is very keen knowing very well that gas from the research that has been done will be useful even for domestic and industrial purposes. We have one of the best gases if my reading is correct. So, we would want to see that being exploited.
We also have potential investors in this area. We already have companies like Toma Gold Consortium. They would want to invest about $50 billion in this. We also have GAZPROM from Russia, they will also want to come in, Zambezi Gas, our local company and also Sakunda have shown that they want to invest in the same very important natural resource.
After observing all this, one must also be cognizant of the fact that where there is gas or potential of these resources, there is also a lot of interest and interference from those who have already enjoyed monopolies on these minerals. They would find ways of throwing spanners in the whole works in order to delay exploitation of these resources. We also need as a country to be very careful as we deal with these resources and any other resource that we have – gold, diamond, platinum, et cetera, that we do not sell the future of our people for a song because most of these people would want to come. My other Hon. Member said $15 million could be a lot of money but if you look at the potential these people would get out of exploiting these, we are talking of trillions and billions of dollars. $15 million may not be a lot of money because anyone who comes to deal with this type of resource knows very well what he will get from it and as people of Zimbabwe, before we do anything we should ask ourselves what we are going to get as a people. Many of them have come to Zimbabwe and some were mining diamond in Chiadzwa, claiming that it was all exploration but they were shipping diamond out of the country.
We can still have the same people coming to us. The list I have given you, these people have interest to exploit these resources but they may take advantage of our interest in them exploiting these resources and exploit to the disadvantage of our people. My view would be for us to allow Government to do due diligence to ensure that whatever relationships that we are going to have with any company from wherever it comes from, whether is it a local company – it comes from the East or from the West and they want to exploit our resources, they must give us value. We need value for whatever we have.
You can go around this country today and we have shafts and shafts but we have nothing to show for those shafts. People have taken our gold and they are rich somewhere. I have seen on the internet the Queen of England for example, in a big room full of gold bars. Those gold bars came from Africa – they came from Zimbabwe but what do we have to show for that exploitation of gold? We may then lose this natural resource if we cannot do it ourselves and if we are not happy with the present suitors or prospective investors – it is better to keep it for better investors or our future generations being able to come up with good relationships that will exploit these resources for the good of our country.
We want gas to be exploited and if it is exploited, nobody doubts the advantages that we are going to get as a country. Let us not do it because others have done so. Others have done so to the disadvantage of their people. We have our neighbours who had a lot of copper, what is happening there? They have lost all the copper and they all have shafts. Where is the development? We used to have copper here in Mhangura, what has it done, they shipped it all to their countries and enriched themselves. Whatever we are going to do, I think we have a Government which is very pro-development. I am sure whatever they are doing - in 2020 for example, the Minister said if somebody does not exploit a resource, it is either use it or lose it and that policy is already in place. For those who have shown interest in the Lupane-Lubimbi area, if they do not exploit it, they will lose the concessions and I think that is fair.
We have people who are dotted throughout the world who have gold concessions and mineral concessions in Zimbabwe, they are using that to trade on the British Stock Exchange but what is coming to Zimbabwe – nothing. We have people who will come here and we give them concessions to exploit this gas and may not do it because they have so many interests. There are so many of these people who are controlling other gas production throughout the world and they would not want our gas to come on the market because it will flood the market and depress the prices.
So they may play games of showing us as if they have interest. If they had interest, these multi-trillion deposits anyone could have rushed to Zimbabwe to exploit this but they are taking their time. This is all because they would want to exhaust wherever they are and they come to Zimbabwe later. What I may have to ask is our own Zimbabwean companies if they have potential and if they have the skills, if they can exploit these resources, why not allow them to exploit than looking for those external investors who will come with a lot of conditions and who are not even prepared to pay but they pay same figures elsewhere, but because this is Africa, they do not want to pay because they believe US$15 million is big money for people of Zimbabwe.
We need this and it is one of the best resources as one of our Hon. Members said. It is the way where we are going as a world today. This is very important. So we cannot give it away and allow people who have no interest whatsoever to our development and to our future to just take our gas. We are lucky this is God given but if they there are those who can exploit this resource, I really urge Government to allow them to come in and if they are coming in good faith and giving value to the people of Zimbabwe, then let them come. If they are not, it is better to keep our natural gas than to give it away for a song. I thank you.
(v)HON. R. R. NYATHI: Thank you Mr. SpeakerSir. Allow me to add my voice on the motion that was moved by Hon. Dr. Khupe and seconded by Hon. Gabbuza. I think Dr. Khupe has moved a very good topic to this motion. Domestic resource mobilisation which means that we have the resources and these resources are in our backyard but we are now lacking is mobilisation of those resources so that they can help the residents, the people of Zimbabwe so that our livelihood would improve.
I just want to shift the debate slightly from what my other collaugeus have been talking about. There were more focused on this project in Lupane and they were also talking about Matabeleland North. I want to mention that if this investment is done in Lupane, it is not only done for the people in Lupane. It is critical that all the support that we are supposed to give as a nation in order for us to mine methane gas must be done, not with an eye that will exclude Lupane and we are excluding Matabeleland North but we are including Zimbabwe. I say so because you will realise that once we invest in an investment which is worth trillions and trillions of dollars, what it means is that the tax that country to the Central Government become also enlarged and they come in large volumes and the Central Government will then distribute those resources to other areas in Zimbabwe where there is much need. What it also means is that employment is also then increased.
When we are employing, we are not only employing people from
Matabeleland North or people from Lupane, but from all over Zimbabwe – those that are good in administration and all these industries have a ripple effect. You start your manufacturing, you see there is already a market there, it means we are now growing our industry domestically. What it means is that our GDP as Zimbabwe grows. So, the idea is not really to focus on whether the people in Matabeleland North are going to benefit as singled out, it is going to benefit everyone. Once you do that – other speakers who have spoken have spoken about our young people going to seek jobs in South Africa and Botswana. What it means is; we then have to stop the brain drain because Zimbabwe is a country where we are number one on matters of education and fitness. Many countries around the world are benefitting because of the investment. Education is investment, so Zimbabwe is investing in its people so that when these people finish school, be it Form 4, 6 or degrees they must work in
Zimbabwe in order to grow Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker, it is quite prudent for us as Parliamentarians, as Zimbabweans, to make sure that we channel our resources towards the exploration and mining of methane gas. I also want to mention that Hon. Togarepi has raised something very critical, that whilst it is important for us to channel our resources or to look for investors that will come and help us to mine gas in Lupane, we must do it with prudence because we do not have to rush; we just have to do it. I think Hon. Togarepi was saying we must channel our resources knowing that in mining methane gas there are three other minerals that go hand in hand with that mineral. So it is a mineral that will improve the economy of our country.
Mr. Speaker, there is need for us to look for investors and do so as soon as possible. We must also move with time. There is no need for us not to see where we are going. Hon. Gabbuza mentioned that we should move with time, that when people were moving to modernisation of having cellphones we were busy building post offices which are now idle. We need now to look at how we can utilise these buildings for the benefit of our nation. People are now moving from vehicles that are petrol and diesel driven to electrical and solar. We need to be compliant but we are still busy buying those cars yet in fifteen years from now we will not be having any back-up for those vehicles which we are buying.
We need to move with time.
Zimbabwe must invest in research and development so that whatever we want to do we will be able to see the future before we get there. I want to thank Hon. Dr. Khupe and his seconder for bringing up this motion which I think we need to look at in the same view as we also look at other minerals. We must explore and polish them with wisdom.
I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. NDEBELE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. There is a
rule that we set in this House, that those who are contributing virtually must always have their videos on. I would like to see you insisting on
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you.
HON. N. MGUNI: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity. I also want to thank the mover of the motion Hon. Dr. Khupe and the seconder. I want to thank all Hon. Members who have contributed before me and say our country is almost 41 years old now and we surely have gone through a learning process in order to realise who would exploit us positively or negatively. I want to support what Dr. Khupe said about probably getting investors from within because we have an experience of these outsiders who then come here to loot our resources.
Mr. Speaker, I think after 41 years we should have learnt how to do it or how to go about it in order to avoid exploitation. I want to support this motion because this methane gas has many advantages. It is environmentally friendly, odorless and it is cheaper to produce. We can use it for cooking even in the rural areas. That would environmentally protect our trees that are used mostly for firewood in the rural areas.
Again, it has a very important protective function Mr. Speaker Sir, in the
I and R injury and inflammation disorders. That means it can also be used in health. It can be used for heating in the manufacturing industry Mr. Speaker Sir. Everyone else has mentioned that we have problems with our energy and power. We experience power cuts on and off. It means if we exploit positively this methane, our industries will work 24 hours without interruption. That increases production, which is going to be positive for our industry and development like everyone else has mentioned. They say that methane can be used to dry cereals and fruits and it goes back to our industry as well that we can produce more and we can also export. That can gain us forex which we need so much in our country.
Some other advantages Mr. Speaker Sir are that the natural gas is less expensive than the energy that we use even in the households. If our people can use it for domestic cooking, their lives will be changed because they do not have to spend much on buying electricity. Russia
Mr. Speaker Sir, is the world’s leading exporter of gas. In 2020 alone, it exported gas worth $25.3 billion and statistics say Russia is left with estimated reserves of about 59 to 103 years yet in Zimbabwe it is estimated to last for about 200 years. To me, 200 years is a long time of investing in such a project. The potential to bringing to the country forex income and employment is very high. The usage of this gas is safe in the sense that it can be used both in industry and for domestic use. Our normal gas, like I said smells and the only disadvantage would be that a gas that does not smell, no one would know about any leakages but people can be educated so that they are safe in their spaces of work. I urge the Government to seriously consider exploiting positively this project and stop importing energy which is very expensive to our country. With this, I thank you so much Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. GORERINO: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir, for this opportunity. I would like to add my voice to the motion by Hon. Dr. Khupe, seconded by Hon. Gabbuza. Mr. Speaker Sir, this is an important subject to Zimbabwe considering the fact that what Hon. Dr. Khupe said is important in the fact that we are now living in the fourth generation whereby beneficiation of minerals is the way to go. It is not about the gas issue but the whole set of minerals in the country. We have more than 200 minerals that we can beneficiate in the country and make the $12 billion dollar economy from the mining sector a success.
If you look at the world’s index, you would find that Zimbabwe has only mined not more than 15% of the total reserve that we have in the country on all the minerals. When we go to the gas issue, it is only 4% that we have managed to mine so far so good. When it comes to coal, it is only 6%. The highest mineral that we have mined so much is the gold mineral which is about 121/2% or so. It means that we are still sitting on our pride. We are still sitting on our minerals. We have not exhausted them.
If we talk of coal beneficiation, we have not done anything. Yes, we accept and Government has tried so many times to have investors that can help them in that sector. I once participated in a certain project in the gas industry. You would find the quality of gas that we have in the country is top notch. It is not most of these discoveries which you get outside. The quality of our coal is the best. The quality of our gold, if you go on the world market, they can simply tell you that this is from Zimbabwe. Even the diamonds, they can simply tell you this is from Zimbabwe. Even the tourmalines, when you go and sell in Singapore, it is easy for buyers to identify our minerals by just seeing them on the trade. So, I am saying it is not too late for Zimbabwe. It is not too late for the Government and I would want Government to take heed of this motion by Hon. Dr. Khupe to start the process because we have only exhausted 4% of our coal which means 96% of the reserve which we think we have has not been touched.
All the reports that were done during the colonial era about these projects, the unfortunate thing is we were left with nothing. If you want to access that document right now, they will charge you US$100 thousand to get that document – either it is a geo report or a beneficiation report. Like what Hon. Togarepi has said, most of this information and most of these minerals, people who are sitting on claims or on concessions that hold these vast resources are not using them. If you go to Singapore Stock Exchange, you will be shocked. Three quarters of mineral companies that are listed there are listing on Zimbabwean minerals. We talk of the Matabeleland Gorge where Hon. Gabuzza mentioned, three quarters of the claims there have done geological reports and these reports have been done through SAM recording. SAM recording is a concept whereby you take coordinates from a certain borehole that you drill to make sure you ascertain the resource. If you go to Singapore Stock Exchange, those companies are racking in millions if not billions from untapped resources in Zimbabwe, just by listing. If you come back home, we are talking of beneficiation yet someone has already beneficiated for himself in his pocket to a tune of over 200 million on the stock exchange but a lot of Zimbabweans are suffering. They are not even accessing that money. It is just traded in the Singapore Stock Exchange. The money remains there – what does the person do next? He comes to Zimbabwe, do a marketing plan and the next thing he puts one or two excavators and that investment is worth two or three million; the rest of the millions are outside the country.
This petition is very important to us because it has got a lot of benefits to us. There are a lot of advantages in beneficiating our minerals especially coal because it comes with a lot of bi-products, approximately ten. All these bi-products are on demand on the world market. If you look as SASSOL, it is the same that we are crying for but you will find that like what Hon. Togarepi have said – we are now in a market where we have vultures. Once Zimbabwe starts to process its own minerals, we have a better advantage over everyone because we stand to have the better quality of our minerals.
Coming to the beneficiation issue, you would find that these coal deposits or other minerals differ in particles. We might have gold but some will fall under 75% or 95%. If you go to Shamva or Mazowe, their grades are 99%. If you go to Masvingo it is 85% - same with coal and gas, they do not hold the same particles. The beneficiation process then differs with what is happening in South Africa. You cannot put the same plant that SASSOL is using here because the type of coal that we have has got different particles with the SASSOL one. Our Government is well versed with that and I am happy that the last time I spoke to the Minister, he was very aware of the situation and kind of coal that we have.
This is why you see when we wanted to beneficiate our platinum, it sounded like Government did not want or Government was not pushing the companies or Government was benefiting from that process; no it is about the concept on beneficiating, the type of a plant because most of these minerals are PGMs that we have in the country. There is no mineral in the country that is not a PGM. You will find that the process becomes cumbersome because you then need a plant that separates the particles from the initial thing that we are targeting whereby the general populace will be expecting Zambezi Gas to do a beneficiation project but you would find the same mineral and concept can cost 200 million in South Africa to build a plant but if you then come to Zimbabwe, because of the particles that are associated with that stone, that plant can go as far as 400 million because it is the concept of the beneficiation.
These are things that we hope Government will address because we cannot grow the economy if we still take our minerals as raw – that is definitely something we have to attend to. If you go to Mozambique, three quarters of the harbour is attending to Zimbabwean minerals and they are being taken raw. Right now we have not done any processing in the mining industry – be it even the gold, we are just taking our gold out. We are doing rings or anything or beneficiating the gold which is now costing us a lot of money because the same kilogram of gold that cost 50 000 can cost over 100 000 after beneficiating but because we are not taking that route, it is costing Government millions and billions of dollars.
I would want to thank Hon. Khupe for the motion and I hope that Government will take heed to this motion and make sure that they expedite the process of beneficiation. I am happy that Hon. Gabbuza mentioned the Muzarabani project. If you look at this project,
Zimbabwe’s Muzarabani project is sitting on what we call the ‘old
Creighton’ or old formation; which is the real formation. Most of these oil projects are sitting on what we call a ‘baby formation’. The fact that the Muzarabani project is sitting on the ‘old formation’ then gives us the
betterment of our minerals as number one in the world.
Like what Hon. Togarepi said, once a discovery of that sort is on the ground, then there are fights. You would find that there was a talk on the streets that the Delgrado thing was targeting Muzarabani. That is what Hon. Togarepi was trying to say that the moment we try to do something as Zimbabwe, vultures will then start to focus on it and disturb the project. If you look at the Muzarabani Project – it is the only discovery sitting on the ‘old Creighton’ and that is the only discovery sitting on the old formation which then makes it easy to process the oil because it does not have a lot of contamination from the formation. The process that we do in refining the Muzarabani project is different from the one that we see in South Africa, Libya or whatever because their oil is discovered on off shores but this one is sitting on a stone. You need about 100 metres to access the oil.
The moment Zimbabwe starts to produce, the market has to respond and the project will definitely be better than any other products. That political front also kills our projects and no one would want to see these projects kick start because they have an impact to the world. The same with diamonds, it is not that the diamonds and concept are bad but the diamonds that we have constitute 45% of the world diamonds. This means that the moment we are left to do it alone without any disturbances, we control the market. Those people would not want us to control the market. This is one of the issues that we come across on our road to beneficiation but I say this motion by Dr. Khupe, seconded by Hon. Gabbuza is the only way for Zimbabwe to go.
Zimbabwe can start small and slowly – some of these projects do not need to start at a billion level; let us start small. We have Verify Engineering which has a very good project. Government should find ways of capacitating Verify Engineering in their gas project. Treasury can fund that project with as little as they can – we can do it. We do not need to start with billions. If the fiscus can avail $100 million to Verify Engineering to start the project, you will see that in less than five years, Zimbabwe will achieve the 12 billion economy maybe by one mine like what Hon. Dr. Khupe said. One mine can give us revenue of over six billion in this country. The problem is that we have people who are benefiting under hand dealings who think if you do beneficiation, you cannot do it. We need a lot of money. They are getting brown envelopes from certain people who will be managing them. Like what Hon. Togarepi was saying that most of Matabeleland was listed already and the people who are controlling the assets just fly in every year to come and view their properties and off they go out of the country. If you go with your project anywhere in the world, they will gang up against you because they are benefiting whilst not mining anything.
I hope the Minister of Mines will take heed of this advice and petition on a serious note and he has to start small. There is no need to start big – no one has started big. The petitioner is saying let us start small with what we have. For example, we had the ZISCO Steel issue, what affected this was a simple matter of greed. We had ESSAR Metal and Jindau who bided for ZISCO Steel but the fight was on the control of the claims that ZISCO Steel was sitting on – the 33 billion tonnes of iron ore in Chivhu and the claim that ZISCO Steel has in Hwange which was sitting on two billion tonnes of coal but because of greed, these two were fighting for an asset in Zimbabwe and ZISCO Steel never took off, not that we did not want ZISCOSTEEL to take off, Government had flighted a tender and one of the companies won and the eventuality that happened is that Zimbabwe was a battlefield. I am saying this motion is quite important for Government because already we have suffered on the ZISCOSTEEL project because of these problems. If Government takes heed of this advice, let us start small with the little resources that we have; Zimbabwe will be a better country. We will have our own fuel here. People will come and buy things. These prophecies about Zimbabwe being the Scotaland of Africa will come true because we have everything that will make us the Scotland of Africa.
(v)HON. I. NYONI: Thank you Madam Speaker for giving me the opportunity to deliberate on the motion on domestic resource mobilisation by Hon Dr. Khupe and seconded by Hon Gabbuza. It is indeed true that it will help the country move away from donor dependency, for example the US$10bn dollar external debt that our country is now facing will be difficult to extinguish in the short term hence it is difficult for any country to access external funding with this kind of debt. Therefore, we have to look internally for resources.
My understanding of the definition by Hon. Dr. Khupe, of financial resources, raw materials, skills manpower and other assets that can be drawn by our country for the economy to function effectively, the issue of raw materials and skills manpower can pull our country out of the woods. For example, we have the gas deposit that was mentioned by Hon. Dr. Khupe in Lupane and Muzarabani areas. The exploiting of gas might go a long way in helping to improve the production of fertiliser at our country’s sole manufacturer, Sable Chemicals in Kwekwe.
Currently, Sable Chemicals imports their major raw material which is ammonium gas from South Africa. This can be substituted by natural gas that can come from Lupane or Muzarabani. The availability of locally sourced gas can help in reducing the import bill from this raw material and in a way this is import substitution. The local availability of this gas will increase production at Sable Chemicals, be able to meet local demand and generate the much needed forex through export of the excess fertiliser.
I will proceed to some of the products that can come out of the local gas resources from Lupane and Muzarabani. Here we are looking at liquefied petroleum gas, LPG. Currently, LPG is locally used as a source of energy for cooking and other uses. Almost every home in the urban area has a gas stove because it is cheaper than electricity. All the LPG is being imported from South Africa and it is obvious that the exploitation of gas deposits at Lupane and Muzarabani will result in the reduction of the import bill and also export of the excess gas will earn our country the scarce foreign currency. In brief, that is my contribution on this very important motion. Again I would like to thank the mover
Hon. Dr. Khupe and the seconder Hon. Gabbuza.
HON. DR. MASHAKADA: Thank you Madam Speaker. I wish to thank Hon Dr Khupe for raising this very important motion seconded by Hon Gabbuza. The motion raises fundamental issues in the political economy. Political economy issues that are being raised include what we call natural resources scarce. It is possible to have natural resources abundant but the country remaining poor. We call that natural resources scarce. That question of natural resources scarce is not only afflicting Zimbabwe. It is affecting many African countries that are blessed with many abundant resources but their people are wallowing in poverty. They have no hospitals, educational facilities, poor roads yet they are sitting on abundant resources. It is high time we address this issue of natural resource scarce head on so that our people benefit from our God given resources.
The other political economy raised in this motion is a question of ownership. We cannot develop our country or economy until we address ownership partnership of these natural resources. You find that in most African countries, these natural resources that we must leverage to develop the economy are owned by multinational companies or monopolies and they do not want to release those resources for the development of the whole country. I will give you a typical example of chrome deposits in this country. The chrome deposits are in the hands of very few chrome mining companies. They do not want to free their claims. That is why Government is always talking about ‘use-it or loseit’ because those multinational companies are holding huge reserves of chrome and platinum and they cannot release those to the nation to be developed. They are using what we call tributaries, giving indigenous people one or two claims but they get the lion’s share. Such a model of exploitation of mineral resources will not develop the country. It is a big political economy issue of the ownership of these mineral resources. So, we must address that if we are to leverage them in our national development. This then brings me to the question of what it is we need to do to leverage of our mineral resources to develop our country. I will come to the issue of Lupane very soon but I am proposing two models to ensure that we leverage our domestic resources to benefit our country.
The first model is what I call economic planning. These resources will not benefit us if we do not plan as a country. That is where the issue of developmental state becomes relevant. It is only when you have got a strong developmental State that plans its economy and the usage of its resources that you can get your minerals and other natural resources to benefit the whole country.
I will give you a typical example of failure to plan. If you look at the number of dams in this country, you will be surprised. The latest one being Tokwe-Mukorsi where we spent about US$250 million to build the dam without any plans on what to do next. That dam was completed in 2013 but there is no irrigation that is happening. The water is not going to the lowveld. There is no special planning around that dam or is there any economy surrounding that dam. So, we need proper economic planning at a Developmental State Level to make sure that our natural resources are leveraged. It cannot just happen on its own without proper economic planning, which is very important.
The other issue I am proposing is what we call Economic Growth
Nods. That is the easiest way to make sure that communities develop and benefit from the local resources that are found in their communities. If we develop local growth nods, we make sure that like in Lupane for example, the economy of Matabeleland North is driven by coal or the natural resources found there and the communities must benefit from those natural resources. In this case, the coal-bed methane that is found in Lupane can propel development in the whole of that region just as my colleagues have already ably demonstrated from coal-bed methane, which simply is that gas which is trapped in the coal reserves underground. So, you need the technology to extract that gas so that you can use some of it as LPG or use coal chemical methods to turn it into fuel so you can have so many bi-products from the coal-bed methane. You can also use it as natural gas. Natural gas is in high demand as we speak and this is the reason why we now have got insurgence in Carbodel-Gardo because Mozambique has discovered huge amounts of natural gas in that area. You may recall that Total, the French company has invested about US$6.3 billion to mine natural gas in Carbo-del-Gardo. That is a lot of money coming into Mozambique as an investment.
Everybody knows that this is the way to develop. War is now breaking out for the control of those resources. So, we are sitting on resources that can develop our country and leap frog it towards Vision 2030 or even surpassing a middle income status to become an industrialised and developed economy if we do our maths right. I support the motion in the sense that the coal-bed methane has to be exploited and the people of Matabeleland North have to benefit from that resource. The whole country has to benefit from the exports of the product from the exploitation of this important resource. I pray that Government will take this motion seriously and make sure like Dr. Khupe said, we walk the talk. I thank you Madam Speaker.
HON. DR. KHUPE: I move that the debate do now adjourn.
HON. MAPHOSA: I second.
Motion put and agreed.
Debate to resume: Wednesday, 21st July 2021.
On the Motion of HON. MUTAMBISI seconded by HON.
MUPARIWA, the House adjourned at Eight Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.