No power, no investors – Eddie Cross

via No power, no investors says Eddie Cross  28 November 2013  by Charles Rukuni InsiderZim

A senior Movement for Democratic Change official and Bulawayo legislator Eddie Cross says Zimbabwe cannot expect any substantial new investment until it is able to guarantee power to those investors.

He told Parliament on Tuesday that Zimbabwe’s economy was not going anywhere until the country resolved the issue of reliable power supply at the lowest possible cost.

“We cannot expect any substantial new investment in Zimbabwe until we are able to guarantee those investors power. Therefore, this issue is of critical importance to us as a nation and should be debated properly and clearly,” he said.

Cross said there were plenty of investors willing to support power generation in Zimbabwe but they were scared of the country’s indigenisation laws.

“There is no investor in the world that is going to put a dollar on the table and have fifty-one cents taken by ZANU PF,” he said.

Below is his full contribution:

MR. CROSS: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I feel that I should in fact make a short statement today on the question of electricity supplies in Zimbabwe because there is a lot of confusion and it is not assisted by this kind of debate.

The power generation facilities in Zimbabwe were built in stages; the small thermal power stations were built prior to 1938. Kariba was completed in 1958 and Hwange was built under United Nations Mandatory Compulsory Universal Sanctions between 1968-1970.

I mention the latter because I was a young man during those days. I participated in the construction of Kariba. Kariba at its time was the largest infrastructure development in the world financed by the World Bank.

Hwange was financed by the Rhodesian Government and the equipment was imported to Rhodesia under United Nations sanctions. I simply cannot understand why our associates on the other side of the House, should claim today that sanctions should be causing, in any way, the kind of crisis we are experiencing today. It is not true.

There are absolutely no restrictions whatsoever on the importation of spares of any kind to deal with any form of electricity generation infrastructure in Zimbabwe today. The power generation capacity of Zimbabwe is about 1200 MW today. It fluctuates a little bit based on the facilities at Hwange, but by and large, I think one of the greatest achievements of the past four years has been to stabilise the two major power stations in the country.

I am pleased to announce today that the contractors have moved on site at Kariba South. This is a major step forward. It is a contract negotiated by the former Minister of Energy and I think it is a good contract. It will be funded by the people constructing the facility and I hope that within three years, Kariba will be able to generate something like 900 MW for us as a nation.

It will not be creating any additional sources of supply because we do not have sufficient water in Kariba but will enable us to fluctuate the production from Kariba to meet our peaks in demand. This is a very important function.

Hwange, I am afraid Mr. Speaker, has been inexplicably delayed. It is in fact the only major new generation source of power to Zimbabwe today. It is capable of being financed today, without any problems at all.

It is a mystery to me as to why this particular contract, like Kariba South has not been awarded. I do not know what the hold-up is today but I would hope that the minister would be more transparent in the way he is handling this business and inform the House when he has the time, as to why this important contract has been delayed.

For the rest, Rhodesia always could depend on surpluses in other parts of Southern Africa for its shortfall in supplies. Therefore, no expansion in the production of electricity in Zimbabwe has been completed in the last 40 years, 34 of which have been under ZANU PF management.

More importantly, during this period, there has been absolutely no maintenance and no reconstruction of these important facilities. Now that the region itself, particularly South Africa, is moving into a deficit position in so far as their own requirements are concerned; these countries are no longer able to supply us on and when required, hence the load shedding.

As far as the future is concerned, Mr. Speaker, the Sengwa project has been on the books for some time, promoted by a major international company based in London, Rio Tinto. There is no question of any kind of restrictions on Rio Tinto regarding this investment. Rio Tinto is not proceeding with this investment simply because of the risk profile of Zimbabwe.

Part of that risk profile is indigenisation. There is no investor in the world that is going to put a dollar on the table and have fifty-one cents taken by ZANU PF. For that reason, Sengwa has not proceeded.

The same applies to Binga. There is another thermal station being planned in Binga. Plans for the thermal station are being funded by the French.

Again, there is no question of any restrictions on the financiers of this; it is the risk profile of Zimbabwe that is impeding these investments.

As far as gas is concerned in Lupane, I think most people now know that the gas in Lupane is not a reliable source of energy. It is unlikely to be developed on any significant scale. Therefore we have to ask, what are the immediate prospects for new energy sources for Zimbabwe?

I want to highlight the new role of Mozambique. Mozambique first found gas just about 150 km South of Beira about 20 years ago. That gas is being delivered to Gauteng today using a pipeline constructed by SASOL.

Recently, Mozambique has discovered major gas in the North near the Tanzanian border. This new discovery Mr. Speaker Sir, is going to turn Mozambique into one of the largest energy suppliers in the world.

These gas reserves are similar to those of Doha in the Middle East. It is going to transform the Mozambican economy. Already, more than US$100 billion has been committed to investment in the Mozambique gas fields.

The other development of concern to us is that just in the last two months, a gas field was discovered just off Beira, about 10 km from Beira port on the other side of the river. This gas field has 4 trillion cubic feet of gas which is bigger than the fields in the south supplying Gauteng. I am reliably informed that using this gas, which is only 183 km from Mutare, we can construct a 2 000 MW power station in Mutare within three years.

Contrary to what my colleagues on the other side of the House are saying, the Indian private sector is prepared to invest in that facility. The issue we have got to look at here is that this is a critical subject for every Zimbabwean; to try and make cheap political points about the so-called sanctions on this kind of issue is simply not doing it justice.

We need to debate this issue. We need to have clarity on it, the future of our economy –[MR NDUNA: Inaudible interjections]- you are quite right. Mr. Speaker Sir, my colleague is debating with me here.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order, order. Please address the Chair.
Hon Nduna, please avoid direct verbal attack – [MR NDUNA: He is saying there are no sanctions.]- Order. May the hon. member continue please?

MR. CROSS: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I just want to make a point that, until we resolve the question of a reliable power supply for Zimbabwe at the lowest possible cost, our economy is not going anywhere.

We cannot expect any substantial new investment in Zimbabwe until we are able to guarantee those investors power. Therefore, this issue is of critical importance to us as a nation and should be debated properly and clearly.

Thank you very much Mr. Speaker.


  • comment-avatar

    the actual heading should be WITH MUGABE AND ZANU-NO INVESTORS

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    Michael 10 years ago

    Oh so true!!!

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    ZimJim 10 years ago

    Nice one Eddie. Was there an intelligent response from Bob’s Bozos? I doubt it…

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    Michael 10 years ago

    Eddie I salute your bravado, but I fear your words have fallen on the deaf dumb and delinquent Zanoids.

    A government without solutions to the country’s problems is not a government at all.

    That’s what happens when you rig election and rig election and rig election and rig election and rig election and rig election and rig election and rig election and rig election and rig election and rig election and rig election and rig election and rig election……..


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    Dzvondo 10 years ago

    powerful presentation Eddie.. how i wish Nikuv had not rigged.. we wud be havn the best brains helping building ths country instead of matuzvienguruve ari kutonga awo

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    Peter tosh 10 years ago

    Wat kind of sanctions are these morons talking about? Every stupid zpf mp and it’s supporters believe this rubbish. Death is on your head you Devils.

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    Michael 10 years ago

    Eddie you must form the new party that will deliver liberty and democracy to Zimbabwe. MDC is so out of touch, the people are wandering about as chicken with no heads, trying to understand WHY we still have Mugabe as president. “MDC-T” has failed us again and again and again and again…..

    MDC-T = no direction, no leadership, no challenge, no future and worst of all NO HOPE.

    Eddie please tell us we will not suffer another five years under Zanu oppression, there may be no people left in 2018, our plight is now not in five years.

    We need action, we do not need Tsvangirai travelling the country telling us, “oh by the way did you know the last election was rigged”. He is any IDIOT.

    Now, now is the time to strike, when Zanu/Mugabe are vulnerable and the iron is in the fire, to wait till 2016 for mdc congress is toooo late for leadership change, more crucially to wait till 2018 will spell defeat, through yet more rigged elections.

    The GPA is still a smouldering ember, but blow upon these embers and flames will emerge. The flames of democracy, liberty and freedom will start to burn, so start blowing now.

    #Tagged for democracy

    #These are my thoughts, remember I am not a Zanu supporter, remember I am not a MDC supporter, but I am a voter and my vote counts.#

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      @ Michael…..#These are my thoughts, remember I am not a Zanu supporter, remember I am not a MDC supporter, but I am a voter and my vote counts.#….REALLY?

      Your vote only counts if the counter counts it. If the counter doesn’t count it, your vote doesn’t count. In Zimbabwe most votes don’t count unless the voter is ZANU

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      nesbert majoni 10 years ago

      Mr so called Michael don’t take us for a ride. Are you not the same person who admitted that the elections were rigged. You tell us that MDC has no direction with the leadership of Tsvangirayi whom you said is an IDIOT. If MDC is as clueless as you want us to believe then why did ZANU PF rigged the elections. Don’t forget that the Zim economy recovered rapidly with the GNU. You said you are neither MDC nor are you ZANU PF. Your problem is you want to run with the hares at the sane time running with the hounds. You are no clever. Let me remind you that you are dealing with adults not some kinder garden kids. Your language is ZANU PF through and through and you even hate MDC T with passion especially Tsvangirayi. You don’t want to admit that MDT T is the party of the moment and the entire country is behind them. Like it or not that is your problem but be gentleman enough and give them credit where they deserve it. MDC arrested a galloping inflation of 2008 and before and don’t forget that its the party where Mr Eddie Cross whom you want to please individually is a senior member. Where are you getting lost sir.

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    Charlie Cochrane 10 years ago

    Your address, while factual, assumes that anybody in zanu cares.
    They do not care as they are each corruptly worth tens of millions of US dollars, have access to fuel, generators, fresh clean water, foreign medical care and education for their children and the best food…………..these psychopaths know that when people have their faces in the dirt they are controllable, if they are relatively healthy and prosperous they are agitators for change and justice and every single one of those vile, thieving, murderous animals knows that when that day arrives they will be tried and executed!!!
    No,they are VERY happy whining about sanctions whilst maintaining the status quo…………save your breath Edward and emigrate!

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    Ian Douglas Smith 10 years ago

    Charlie Cochrane,

    Hi. I don’t think defeatist attitudes help much.

    While you’re preceding comments where valid, and well put, nothing will change until people like Eddie stand up to be counted.

    He should be commended, not told to run away!

    You are, of course, entitled to, and I respect your opinion.

    Thats what democracy is about.

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    Highly respected economist

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    Canuck 10 years ago

    All well said and very true Eddie…….
    Now, what are you or others going to do/initiate to change things, cos certainly the ruling party is not going to lift a finger…….unless, of course, there is some baksheesh in it for them !!!
    Once again, I say that Indigenisation Laws as they are now will NEVER work in Zim…….merely drive the economy into a death spiral, which is now in the initial stages……..

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    mwana wevhu 10 years ago

    The pertinent address by the enlightened MP amplifies how lop sided the prioroties of ZVANGU.P.F are. 1.Good governance(rule of law,2. Sound infrastructure are some of the cornerstones of economic development! Not this INDEGINISATION & AGRARIAN REFORM rhetoric.Expecting economic turnaround under ZANU. P.F is like believing a pride of lions can escort you through a game park.

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    Bruce 10 years ago

    Power needed by investors is not electric power, they need power to control their investment direction and to have final say in what they want to achieve. They may even invest in electric power generation, so they will not need electric power to generate that. There is plenty coal and gas for thermal and water in Kariba and other rivers with possibility of hydrogeneration. There is possibility of nueclear power station in Kariba with its vast amount of water even. However the political risk is extremely huge for any prudent investor to consider Zimbabwe as an investment destination. Now Government is saying all investors in sectors preserved for locals will be arrested. This is new in the Southern region, such a position does not motivate investors. Registrar of companies should have warned the same investor when they wanted to register companies that they may not invest in that sector. But that was secret to them too. So ZANU PF is a real problem to investment, not electricity. but well said or prudently laid to avoid ZANU PF thinking you are attacking them directly, though ZANU PF is the REAL ENERMY TO INVESTMENT IN ZIMBABWE

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      nesbert majoni 10 years ago

      True and potential investors don’t know what will happen after ZANU pf have taken the business of these so called locally preserved and give them to their supporters. May be their next step will be to take more business using another language and terminology until the entire economy is nationalised. As long as that indigenisation area remain as grey as it is our economy will be non exisistent come 2015. ZANU pf must own up and swallow their pride. Scoring cheap political points while the economy is folding is suicidal.

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    Michael 10 years ago

    Very true, however my (#tag) slogan is there to show others that I am not politically aligned to any party, in the hope that I will not receive comments like “you are a Zanu moron” when I criticize MDC.

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      nesbert majoni 10 years ago

      Your problem is you want us to think that you are not ZANU pf. We are adults. Your language is ZANU pf simple

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    masvukupete 10 years ago

    From Mr Nduna’s comments, it shows how ZPF works. We will not do anything for our country and people as long as there are “sanctions”. What a hopeless, clueless, lazy bunch. The Zanu way is “as long as we have western sanctions we will not try any other way of encouraging investment”.

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    masvukupete 10 years ago

    It is very possible to work around these sanctions. The presence of the sanctions does not mean we cannot move forward. Is this not the warped colinised mindset that we cannot do it ourselves as long as we have sanctions. The whole ZPF system has been swallowed into the vicious ego of Mr Bob wanting to be acknowledged by the Queen of England. There are a lot of people who we can do a lot of successful business with. However the whole country has been taken down because uncle Bob wants to be acknowledged by the Queen of England.

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    Don Cox 10 years ago

    ” There is possibility of nueclear power station in Kariba with its vast amount of water”

    Some designs of nuclear power station do not need water for cooling.

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    Mr Mixed Race 10 years ago

    I am impressed by my town boy’s speech.We are a tested people here in Byo.All the things you have highlighted in your speech remind me of many projects which were implemented under real international sanctions.I would not worry about the interruption caused by newcomers in parliament like Mr Nduna because they have no clue on what you were talking about.These guys are so ignorant of the economical problems facing our lovely country.I am convinced that within parliament there are many who think like you Mr Cross,therefore time will tell before its too late.

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    Mr Mixed Race 10 years ago

    ps-we do not need nuclear power stations for safety purposes.Look at what happened in Japan

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    chilimanzi 10 years ago

    I think Michael you are an angel of death if not a mbanje smoker your head needs examination.

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    Boss MyAss 10 years ago

    No food, no money, no education, no water, no electricity, no roads, no lights, no freedom, no human rights, no dignity, no future, no respect, no self-esteem, no civilization, no beliefs, no ethics, no common sense, no moral values, no principles. I am proud racist, living with fear, xenophobia, corruption, surrounded by beggars, wise guys, simpletons. I expect nothing, I am nothing, and I am the global disgrace. All I care is the colour of the skin of others and my God the almighty U.S dollar. Live and let die. I am good for nothing. “God save his Excellency the KING Robert Mugabe” who saved us from the big bad wolf the bustard whites and took absolutely everything from us for his self and his gang. I am the most selfish and stupid person in Africa, I am free and proud to be Zimbabwean.
    Zimbabwe is guilty of perpetuating this dictatorship. The middle class, who join the Central Intelligence Organisation, for example, in droves to buttress the oppression of Zimbabweans, are guilty. The greedy businesspersons, small traders and economic chancers we hear about every day who continue to seek political favour to gain an unfair advantage are also guilty of perpetuating a system that oppresses them. We have also seen how those that are in opposition politics and claim to represent the interests of those who want an outside have become persuaded and are now complicit in strengthening this tyranny. Most of us have, therefore, played a decisive role and in part created the very conditions that we continue to complain against and blame. Can a dictatorship such as this be dislodged through free and fair elections? Can our society destroy this pervasive and evil foundation from within? No, unless the international community aggressively intervenes because change can only be fuelled from outside our society.
    In Zimbabwe, it has created a persuasive and repetitive myth that only one man can be President for life; that only Zanu PF members can have access to new opportunities and lead a better life than most; that only those who are politically connected through birth, association or sheer audacity must have an advantage and be entitled unbridled access to the wealth of Zimbabwe. That only our “freedom” fighters can be heroes.
    It will not be easy to change our circumstances or move our country into a modern democracy because we have been psychologically complicit in creating a social system that does not respect our own needs and aspirations. Our tyranny is manufactured by the people of Zimbabwe, for the people of Zimbabwe — that is the hardest fact to accept.