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


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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.

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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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