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Senate Hansard 19 May 2020

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 19th May, 2020.

The Senate met at Half-past Two O’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE

ADHERENCE TO SOCIAL DISTANCE REGULATION          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: First and foremost, we

have to maintain social distancing. This is why we were meant to sit in this Chamber.  We have to spread enough, the front benches you are not maintaining social distancing, please spread as much as possible.  The front benches spread, even to my right you are very close to each other.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND EXPORT-IMPORT BANK

OF CHINA RELATING TO THE NET-ONE MOBILE BROADBAND

EXPANSION PROJECT PHASE 3

         THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  Madam President I

move the motion standing in my name that;

WHEREAS Section 327 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on

Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by

Parliament;

AND WHEREAS, the loan agreement between the Government of

Zimbabwe and Export-Import bank of China relating to the Net-One

Mobile Broadband Expansion Project Phase 3 being implemented by

Net-One Cellular (Private)  Limited was concluded on 26th June, 2019 in

Beijing, China; and

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of Section 327 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, this House resolves that the aforesaid

Agreement be and is hereby approved.

With your permission Madam President, if I could add some flesh to that motion.  I think more detail is required for this legalistic parliamentary language which I have just gone through.  This pertains to what we call the Net-One Phase 3 Expansion Project of 26th June. 2019, Government of Zimbabwe and the Import-Export bank of China signed a concession loan agreement amounting to US$71 million or about 465 million Renmimbi for the financing of the Net-One network Expansion Phase III Project.

The facility will be on-lend to Net-One by Government.  The loan would attract an annual interest rate of 2% and commitment fees are 0.25% per undrawn amount.  The management fee is 0.25% of the loan amount and this was gazetted on 9th August, 2019.  The loan repayment period is 20 years, including a five year grace period.  Only interest payments will be made during the grace period and not the principal amount.  Net-One would be responsible for the loan repayment from the revenue generated from the sales of airtime and internet data.        The objective of the project is to increase 4g and 3g capacity through increased infrastructure sharing and introduction of 4g data roaming.  In more detail, it will involve the construction of a wireless communication network, a call network, transmission network, telecommunication services software, data centre, network corporation and management system and other supporting communication hardware and software facilities.  It will also enable internet protocol interconnection to satisfy the growing requests from external partners.  I thank you Madam President.

Motion put and agreed to.

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE

APPOINTMENT AS LEADER OS THE HOUSE

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF SENATE: May be before I

proceed, I would like to give you as Members of the Senate, a notice that Hon. Minister Perrance Shiri was appointed the Leader of the House in Senate by the President.  This is to notify you that next time whenever we sit, we leave a place for him so that it will be easy for us to consult him when need be.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND EXPORT-IMPORT BANK

OF INDIA RELATING TO DEKA PUMPING STATION AND RIVER

WATER INTAKE SYSTEM PROJECT

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. NCUBE):  Madam President, I

move the motion standing in my name that;

WHEREAS section 327 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that an Agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the

President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS, the loan agreement between Government of

Zimbabwe and Export-Import bank of India relating to Deka Pumping

Station and River Water Intake System Project being implemented by

Zimbabwe Power Company concluded 3rd June, 2019; and

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of the Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid Agreement be and is hereby approved.

If I can elaborate on what this Deka Pumping Station is all about.

This involves the upgrading of the Deka Pumping Station and the River

Water Intake project and entails the rehabilitation of the Deka Pumping Station and construction of a new pipe from the Deka Pumping Station to Hwange Power Station.  The project is envisaged to pump water that will enable meeting of the new demands of water by Hwange 7 & 8 Expansion Project and the existing power plant.  The project focuses on bringing to full stature the existing infrastructure at Deka Pumping Station.

The Project’s scope evolves on the rehabilitation of the existing pumping stations and the settling tanks, the design and installation commissioning; or process control systems; the replacement of the switchgear; the design and construction of a new pipeline which is 42 km; rehabilitation of the existing pipeline and the resuscitation of the cathodic protection equipment and the provision for community drinking water.

The initial contract was referred to a facility of US$28.6 million and was based on estimated cost of a feasibility study that was done in 2010 by a company called WAPCOS which excluded the geological survey, but in 2015, WAPCOS CARRIED out a geological technical survey which included soil investigation resulting in increased costs of the project to US$39.6 million.

The Export and Import Bank of India also sent their experts to verify the costs escalation and they confirmed this to be true that there is a new figure.  So, there is a higher figure now in terms of the loan agreement and an additional amount had to be added.  This additional amount is $19.5 million and the interest rate on it is 1.75% per annum.  The commitment fee is 0.5% and the management fee is 0.5% and the facility will be on lend to the Zimbabwe Power Company on the same terms and conditions that we received as Government from the IndiaExim Bank.  The Zimbabwe Power Company will be responsible for the repayment of the loan straight to the India-Exim Bank.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Hon. President.  I want to appreciate the coming in of the loan to improve the Deka Pump Station.  My real debate here is not to contradict what is happening but to question that you initially said the amount was $23 point something, million and suddenly it has increased by 19 million.  If I did not get you well, I stand to be corrected.  $19 million is almost two times in US dollar terms and does it mean that there were other things that were improved or changed in the total contract because a revision of such an amount in US dollar terms is frightening in engineering terms to say what really took place at the initial costing and going to the final costing.  However, if it is covering the necessary improvement because of lack of power in Zimbabwe, I want us to address it as Parliamentarians.  It is a welcome idea but to ensure that whatever we are spending, we are doing it diligently so that we do not just impose expenses on our communities and make them suffer.  Already people cannot get the dollar and if everything is in US dollars cost, we might not be able to pay some of these loans.

Hwange Power Station Hass been done so many times and initially we had a loan from Namibia, and we had to pay that loan. Then there were other loans that followed and now we are having this Indian loan.  What is important with the Hwange Power Station is to ensure that we have got a properly installed new plant and to work towards improving all the plants to ensure that we have reasonable power supply.  Taking cognisance of the fact that if we go to Kariba we have almost exhausted the capacity and whatever we did with the other $300/$600 million was purely a standby facility.

Right now what we need is seriously getting new plants that improve our power provision.  So if we are not working towards another new plant and improving the capacity at Hwange, we are in an appalling state.  We need to look for more money to ensure that we are properly powered.  There is no industry to talk of and there is no business to talk of without power and water.  I therefore urge the Minister to look for financial resources to ensure that the country has adequate enablers to the economy.  I thank you.

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI:  I want to start by thanking you Madam

President for affording me the opportunity to speak and also to thank the Hon Minister of Finance and Economic Development for the effort that he is putting to resuscitate the Hwange Power Station.  I also speak as a former ZESA employee.  I worked at that pump work station for 23 years.  So I speak with full knowledge of the challenges faced by Hwange Power Station, especially on issues to do with insufficient water from Zambezi River to the Power Station.  This pump station is very old and the employees also face a lot of challenges in order to get water to the pump station to enable them to produce electricity.  The equipment that is there is obsolete.

I remember as a young man working there, we had problems of maintaining the pumps at that time.  We worked to repair the switch gear because it already had challenges.  I am actually surprised by how they were working from the time I left the station to this day.  We should take this opportunity to thank the ZESA engineers and technicians for a job well done because they were working in a dreadful situation.  However, my concern on these agreements is that we need to be careful when the money is given to us to ensure that these projects are successful.

This is not the first project, WAPCOS has been there in Hwange and has done a lot of work around that power station.  The output or product of the project should be tangible.  ZESA does a lot of projects, not only at DEKA Pump Station but they have upgraded Harare, Bulawayo and Mnyati Power Stations.  They did a lot of projects which cost a lot of money but the benefits realised in terms of megawatts out of the projects is very minimal or zero.  So there is a danger of Government entering into these kind of projects because of the unbeneficial results that come out of it.

We did the upgrade at Hwange Power Station but after all the projects there was nothing beneficial that we got.  So our appeal is for engineers who do the diligence assessment to do it properly so that the loan will give us a tangible product by the end of the project.  We do not want, once again after the DEKA project to have the same problems of having insufficient water going to the power station.   The upgrade of DEKA Power Station is being done so that we get adequate water going through 1 to 6 going to 7 because we will have extended the water usage.

However, I want to applaud the effort being put.  I am just giving a warning that we should be careful so that our project is beneficial to us and eradicates all the problems being faced now resulting in sufficient water for the station.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  Madam President, let

me thank Hon. Sen. Mudzuri for his comments and input regarding this DEKA Pump Station Project.  He emphasised two things regarding this project which are firstly the importance of finding more resources to support the investment into our power sector to ensure there is enough power available and I certainly agree with that.  I think everyone appreciates that.  Secondly, that there should be careful use of these resources.  The cost benefit analysis should be well understood and again I agree with that.  As the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development we will do our part to make sure that these resources are used appropriately and we seek to get the desired results.  But also then to begin to raise additional resources right across the sector, he may be aware that we are desirous to see more investment for example in the renewable energy sector which is the solar energy sector, in particular where again we expect independent power producers to come in and be licensed so as to increase power output as is needed.  I thank him for that.

Then proceeding on to Hon. Sen Komichi’s comments, he has the benefit of having worked at Hwange Power Station and is one of our more valued assets in terms of skill here in the Senate in terms of knowing so much about the sector.  He also emphasised the need to use the cost benefit analysis approach.  Studies have been done and the need established to build this pipe but at the end of the day we need results.  We need to see increased power output and I agree with him that we need to ensure that there is increased power output so that the investment is not wasted and we find ourselves having to pay back these loans at great cost but with meagre benefits not matching the costs incurred to service these loans.  I agree with that and thank the Hon.

Senators.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

RATIFICATION OF THE LOAN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE AND EXPORT-IMPORT BANK

OF INDIA RELATING TO RENOVATIONS OF BULAWAYO

THERMAL POWER STATION PROJECT

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): I move the motion

standing in my name;

THAT WHEREAS, section 327 (3) of the Constitution of

Zimbabwe provides that an agreement which is not an international treaty but which has been concluded or executed by the President or under the President’s authority with one or more foreign organisations or entities and imposes fiscal obligations on Zimbabwe does not bind

Zimbabwe until it has been approved by Parliament;

AND WHEREAS, the loan agreement between the Government of

Zimbabwe and Export-Import Bank of India relating to renovations of

Bulawayo Thermal Power Station Project being implemented by

Zimbabwe Power Company concluded on 3rd June, 2019; and

NOW, THEREFORE, in terms of section 327(3) of the

Constitution, this House resolves that the aforesaid agreement be and is hereby approved.

With your permission Madam President, let me add some flesh to that. The Bulawayo Power Station was commissioned in 1957 with an installed capacity of 120 megawatts but at present, the serviceable capacity is only 90 megawatts. The station has chain grate and coal fired boilers. The main challenge faced by the station is poor performance of the boiler plant. The re-powering project will replace the existing boilers with circulating fluidised based combustion boilers (CFBC). Some of the engineers will recognise the language. CFBC technology will enable flexibility to fire a wide range of coals.

The project will deal with the upgrading of the existing plant by changing the boilers to increase capacity from the current 30 megawatts to 90 megawatts.

The detailed project scope for the renovations of Bulawayo

Thermal Power Station will include:

  • replacing chain grate boilers with circulating fluidised based combustion, the CFBC boilers as I said and their auxiliaries;
  • rehabilitation of turbo-alternator sets and associated auxiliaries
  • rehabilitation of the common plant and balance of plant; and
  • refurbishment of Khami Water Treatment Plant and Construction of raw water supply pipeline from Khami Dam.

The Government of Zimbabwe and Export-Import Bank of India

signed a dollar credit line. In October, 2016 ZPC floated a tender which qualified for pre-qualification exercise for engineering procurement construction (EPC) contract and only four companies were shortlisted. Only one out of the four companies submitted a bid and the bid was way over the available US$87 million line of credit. This led to ZPC retendering the project and the final winning bid was way above the loan by US$23 million.

On behalf of the Government, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development requested for the additional financing for this project from India Exim Bank for the US$23 million. Following protracted discussions and negotiations, India Exim Bank extended an additional line of credit amounting to US$23 million towards the renovations of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station project.

Again, the terms for this contract, the additional loan was US$23 million and the interest rate was 1.75% per annum, commitment fees 0.5%, management fees 0.5% and the facility will be on-lend to ZPC at the same terms and conditions that we as Government procured from the India Exim Bank. The Zimbabwe Power Company will be responsible for the repayment of the loan straight to India Exim Bank. I thank you.

HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Madam President and Hon. Minister. I am again coming from the same anchor in which I would like to warn the Government and the Minister that whilst it is noble and wise to renovate these power plants, you have said it in your statement that this is as far old as 1957 and it had a capacity of 120 megawatts but now it has gone down to almost zero. I think there are so many years gone now without Bulawayo producing any single megawatt. This is due mainly to the old equipment or infrastructure including the boilers themselves.

The proposal that is there is trying to renovate the boilers. We have had renovations at Munyati Power Station. A lot of money was poured into those projects and nothing material came out of the whole processes. Today we are faced with the same project in which the Bulawayo Power Station is going to be renovated. I stand to suggest and argue that we would rather build a new power station in Bulawayo. We would rather ensure that we have a new power station in Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare. Then you are guaranteed of enough power supply in these strategic centres than renovation.

If you go back to the former Ministers of Energy, Hon. Mudzuri and many others before including Minister Dr. Sekeramayi, they will tell you that we had a lot of renovations at these power plants but we do not have anything to talk about now because nothing has really come out. Why have those projects failed to produce the megawatts that we wanted? Why then do we believe that today they can produce the megawatts that we want? If you check, these are almost the same companies from the same country who have done these kinds of projects before. I feel a bit skeptical about us doing these kinds of projects because we have a history of the same projects that have been carried out in these power plants.

My serious recommendation is - let us relook into establishing new power stations. We would rather have a new boiler, new generator and everything which will guarantee you production of 120 megawatts or 60 megawatts consistently than to be told that we would move from zero to 30 or 60 megawatts but when the time comes to commission we do not achieve it. I do not know why the engineers from ZESA are afraid to take bold decisions. They have got records and evidence of failure in those upgrades. These are the same engineers that were there for the last 10 to 20 years.

Some of them have actually been involved in those projects and they produce nothing. I am now talking from the point of Government of which I am part of. Let our own engineers from the Government side look into the projects viability, compare with the past and see whether we can do better. I am not saying this project should stop. It must go ahead but I am just giving a warning that after 3 to 5 years of renovations we can meet again here with no power generation in Bulawayo. Thank you.

   HON. SEN. ENG. MUDZURI: Thank you Madam President.  I

also want to add my voice towards the debate on the Hwange Power

Station.  I want to appreciate the comments from my colleague, Hon.

Komichi because it is real engineering that you meet when you try to refurbish a plant that was established in 1957 and is as old as myself.  Whatever you are bringing into that plant also needs new bodies and everything else.  I am not sure whether or not we will benefit much from refurbishing but since you have already done the project, it is too late.

I am also worried about the timeframe from the tender to the award, i.e. 2016 and we are now in 2019 – that is three years of a tender going through.  Everything changes during those three years and as an engineer, I find it difficult to understand because once you have taken more than two to three years, maybe you will need to re-tender and do it as fast as possible so that you have fresh tenders.

I want us to serve this nation diligently.  Most of the projects that are done in this country are a repeat as my colleague said, or they have not much value.  I know that you are a finance person and may not understand the language but there is need to go through the technology also.  What is happening in best practice?  What is happening elsewhere?  Do we really need to refurbish Hwange, Bulawayo or Harare?  I know Harare is very expensive.  During the time when I was in the ministry, a unit from Harare Power Station cost forty cents (ZWL$0.40) when we were buying electricity from Kariba at two cents (ZWL$0.02).

So I do not know whether or not due diligence was done to find out how much each unit would cost.  We were blending it and trying to find a cost but I found it ridiculous that we wanted to refurbish Harare Power Station where there is not even a cooling water system because there is no water in Harare and you want to cool it.  I am not sure of the particulars in Bulawayo but when you find that engineers are reluctant to take up that job, it is only the crooked ones or those who just want to make money with ten middle men in - between to charge.

My disappointment is that we go for the worst and pile our people with debts that they cannot pay because there is nothing for free.  We have to honour these debts no matter how cheap they look but it makes us pay for poor diligence work done.  We also need to check on whether our engineers are doing the right thing – I am not saying that they are bad but I think my worry is that when we go to refurbish Hwange Power

Station, Harare and Munyati, we are not looking at modern technology.

Look at our factories in Harare, if you want to refurbish any factory in Harare right now you will find that it is totally out of date.  You may need to break the whole wall in order to bring in new equipment, that is if you want to produce anything that was produced in that factory – they are outdated.  If you want a shell – yes, but to go into those cooling towers you may pile so much coal when you do not require so much coal.

I know that you have already done it but we just appeal to Government and those technocrats to ensure that they bring proper technology to us.  We do not want to come next year or in two years time to complain that there is nothing happening.  I gave you an example of Kariba Power Station – Kariba has not done us any good.  Tell me - people said, ‘We put in 300 megawatts last time and there was no 300 megawatts – we had no water, we had nothing?  You know the capacity of  Kariba ends at 7750 megawatts and it is only during the peak periods when peak demand improves but people went all over and said that, ‘We have commissioned a plant and doing this…’ - that is cheating our own

people and cheating ourselves.

We have to deliver something that our children inherit and power is one of them because without power we go nowhere.  We can still use all those facilities even with reasonably older technology but when we do due diligence, ensure that there is reasonable efficiency and we can get life out of the money that we have put in.

So I want to appeal to you - I know that you are a finance person but I hope that our engineers did a proper job.  I do not believe that it is a proper job but let us wait another three to four years after completion and I would be happy if we get something.  If we do not, then I will come to you Hon. Minister and say, ‘We were just talking in Parliament but we should do something better for our people’.  It is this Parliament and your time in office that will be judged by history.  I thank you very much.

HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA:  Thank you Madam President.  I

just want to take this opportunity to add support to what the other Hon. Members have tried to put across.  I think it is a fact that as a nation we have had a perennial shortage of power.

I remember when I was still in high school; we were renovating these power stations which we are still renovating today.  I just want to find out whether or not there is due diligence on the part of our experts as to what the life span of renovated power stations is?  I think that this is where we are getting it wrong because for the Government to come in and mortgage the country on monies for renovation when we are not going to get value for money – I think is unfair.  I know that we are under pressure as Government to make sure that there is enough power provision but I think we also need to apply our minds soberly so that we utilise the scarce national resources in a better way.

Probably you want to equate it to performing a heart surgery on a 90 year old person and want him to play soccer like Lionel Messi – it will never happen.  I think that the idea here is not for us.  We really want power and want our industries to open but we need to do it properly.  I would propose that in- as- much as we need the money, we also need to take our experts and engineers to task.  As alluded by the other Hon. Member, some of these engineers have presided over renovations for the same power station over the past 15 or so years three times but have we come in as a nation to say, ‘After the renovation, this is what we have benefited as a nation?’

I think that we have to take the bull by its horns.  We know that investments like this are very capital intensive and when you invest, you expect to reap the rewards for the next 25 to 30 years and not three to five years as is happening.  It means that the whole system needs to be overhauled. We need to be brave enough and it is better to just build a small power station for Harare that will last for the next 30 years and we do it in stages rather than trying to put resources in renovating.  There is always a life span for any investment and I think that the sooner we realise and accept it as a reality that these power stations that we are trying to borrow money for and mortgage our future generations. They are not going to benefit and even though there will be so many inefficiencies.  You will find out a power station which has been renovated.  When you renovate, you expect that you improve efficiency and will not get breakdowns but we have had several times when we have technical problems at Hwange and our power station at Harare.  It is because the equipment or infrastructure is obsolete.  You cannot renovate an obsolete structure.  I think technology has changed, you cannot renovate a power station which was built 30 years ago and find compatible equipment which will make it work.  With these few words Mr. President, I would urge the Government, as much as we are going to support – because we need power for the nation, but we need to do more due diligence and come out with a proper structure.  It is better to borrow more money and build new power stations than to spread the scarce resources trying to resuscitate infrastructure which is completely obsolete.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  Thank you Mr. President.  I want to add my voice to the topic which has been presented by the Minister of Finance.  I want to thank the Minister of Finance who has got sleepless nights trying to look for resources to revamp projects within our country.  We salute you for the work you are doing.  When we are talking about power Mr. President, everyone needs power either in towns or in remote areas.  We need more power that can assist our irrigation schemes to get more electricity to get more food for the country.  As our President is always talking about production, you find that we fail that production because those who use the irrigation systems do not have enough power to do so.  Mr. President, I would also lastly, remind the Minister that for all the loans that we acquire as a country, be responsible and pay back so that we continue having more loans and more production.  With these few words Mr. President, I thank you.

*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI:   Thank you Mr. President.  I want to contribute a few words to the motion.  I want to thank our Minister of Finance and the Government of Zimbabwe which is able to get partnerships from other countries that can assist us in generating electricity.  A number of Members have noted the challenges that are faced.  We had the history of the plant in Bulawayo which was established in 1957 and has seen its days.  I would want to appeal to the Minister of Finance and the Government of Zimbabwe that Zimbabwe requires electricity.  No country can develop without electricity.  We know the challenges that we face with electricity.  We are buying some of our electricity from Mozambique, South Africa and other countries.  I hope that in the near future the Minister of Finance will also look into the fact that when considering the issue of electricity, it is important to consider the use of solar energy which will assist the country.  For us in rural areas, this should be able to alleviate the challenges of electricity so that we can all use solar.  Otherwise I want to thank the Minister and we support the gesture that we have partners who are able to assist us to get more electricity and we want to thank you for getting these friends.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE):  Mr. President, thank

you very much.  I thank the Hon. Senators for their contributions and comments.  Let me begin with the comments from Hon. Sen. Komichi.

He mentioned that we are dealing with old equipment and we are trying to renovate old equipment and we should have sufficiently investigated, perhaps building new power stations altogether.  This was in respect of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station, Munyati and Harare, he gave these examples as well.  All these are very useful comments but as Government, we are guided by the technical advice we receive from the experts from within ZESA and from within the Ministry of Energy.  They are the ones who advise Government and they took the view that rehabilitation is still the best route going forward but also there is an issue of exposure in terms of the size of the loan.  That was also taken into account that while we were negotiating within India Exim Bank, there was kind of limit beyond which we could not go up and that meant perhaps rehabilitation was what could be afforded within that credit limit.  This may also apply to the other comments by Hon. Sen. Mudzuri that once you hit your ceiling in terms of your limit and what you call headroom in finance, it is very difficult to negotiate for more.  Since we owe other people monies in terms of arrears, Africa Exim Bank and others, we are in a bind.  You almost have to take the little that you have been given within the proposal that you have submitted which in this case was rehabilitation.  Of course we need to really continuously evaluate whether we are getting value for money.

Now I am transmissioning to the comments by Hon. Sen. Mudzuri, are we getting value for money?  I agree with this kind of thinking that we must continuously evaluate and press the engineers so that we make sure that they deliver on the promises and we get the power that we need.  He has also noted that the tender took too long.  This may mean the technology has moved on but let us agree that let us focus on output and make sure that we get value for money for what we have sourced from India Exim-Bank.

My reactions also apply to the comments by Hon. Sen. Dr. Mavetera.  His comments were more pointed to what is the lifespan of the renovated power station.  Again, the engineers who advised us told us that in terms of life span there seems to be value for money.  Of course we know that if it was brand new, life span would have been longer but again it has meant borrowing more and the credit limit and headroom then kick in then you will find that you cannot borrow enough for that life of the power station. Those are some of the constraints but they are right to raise this value for money concern.

I have noted the comments from Hon. Sen. Mohadi who again implored us to keep going in terms of raising additional resources. She welcomes what we have done so far and she is encouraging us to do more so that we can finance power production within the economy.  Then finally from Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi who again noted the efforts being made in sourcing a funding and that perhaps we should really focus more on solar energy.  I agree with this that renewable energy is the future and that the more we invest in it the better.  We have allowed independent power producers to come into the market and of course, some of the delays pertain to access to land.  They need land in order to build these solar farms and some of it has to do with the distance between those pieces of land to the grid and often the recommendation is, it should be within 30 km so that they can connect easily.

There is no issue with the power purchase agreement so far but it is those other constraints – the land, distance and for some of them, we have noticed that they have been given permission but they never follow through with funding.  So we do not know what the problem is but, we are pushing as Government to have more solar producers.  Think about it Mr. President, that in terms of rural school infrastructure like classrooms and so forth, there is need for us there to invest more to support our schools so that they have power.  Not every school has to connect to the grid but just standalone solar power systems are good enough to support our schools and also our rural hospitals.  So, the issue of solar power is critical and as Government, we are pushing hard but we also need the other side to come on board, which is the independent power producers – to put the money on the table and support this initiative.  In short, I really appreciate the Hon. Senators contributions.  I thank you.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER,

CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. SHIRI): Mr.

President Sir, I move that Order of the Day Number 4 be stood over until Order of the Day Number 5 has been disposed of.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

         Fifth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MUZENDA: Mr. President Sir, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th May, 2020.

MOTION

ABOLITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the repeal of the death sentence and the provisions in the Criminal Law and Codification Act [Chapter 9:23] and other statutes.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. MWONZORA: Thank you Mr. President Sir, I move

that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. RAMBANEPASI: I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 20th May, 2020.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF LANDS,

AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL

RESETTLEMENT (HON. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI),

the Senate adjourned at Twenty Minutes to Four o’clock p.m.  

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