Speed up development of Lupane gas project so that people of Matebeleland North can feel they are part of Zimbabwe-MP


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.



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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