We need proper due diligence otherwise we will sell our natural resources for a song- MP warns


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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.

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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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