With just 10 elephants Zimbabwe can establish how much methane gas Lupane has – MP


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.


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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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