Friday, 1 June 2018


THE “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra has restored investor confidence with some American companies defying the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (Zidera), a US  sanctions law, to invest here, President Mnangagwa said yesterday. 

Addressing up to 50 000 students, young businesspeople, miners, artists, churches and the disabled during the Zanu-PF Youth League Convention at an open ground behind Mkoba Teachers’ College along Hamutyinei Road in Gweru, President Mnangagwa said an American company, General Electric, has shown interest in investing $5,2 billion in the 2 400MW Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Power project between Zimbabwe and Zambia – a development he said will result in more electricity on the national grid. 

He said once the deal materialises in about four years, fuel and electricity supply challenges bedevilling the country will be history.

President Mnangagwa said the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra is paying dividends as Harare had managed to attract foreign direct investment to the tune of over $16 billion in the past six months.

“As the industries are recovering, as electricity is being produced we believe that in the next five years according to our programme we will have over 2 000MW of electricity that will come on the national grid. We have Batoka alone, Batoka Gorge, I must say this to you, Americans have Zidera sanctions but we now have a big American company that has come in to do Batoka Gorge at $5, 2 billion. We asked them how they are going to do it when there is Zidera and they said the (Donald) Trump administration is giving them a blind eye. So things are changing. So we have written a letter to our Zambian counterparts because for it to go ahead it needs Zambia to agree.

“Batoka has 2 400MW of which half goes to Zambia and the other half to us. The other 600MW is coming from Hwange and we have other minor programmes. So at the end of three years we have an excess of 2 000MW coming on to the grid which will be in excess of the electricity demand we want in the country,” he said.

Zanu-PF youth conference gweru

President Mnangagwa said the construction of 1,2 million houses in the country was possible as the Government had attracted foreign investment into the infrastructural development sector since it could not go it alone.

He called on party supporters to vote for the ruling party so that it has a new five year mandate to govern and ensure that its pro-development projects come to pass.

“We have agreed that the next five years when we have put our own Government after July 30, the next five years going forward we have programmes we have put down to improve housing.

“We are saying during the coming five years we want to build 1, 2 million houses in five years. Some are saying it’s impossible but it’s possible because you will have not only Government but we are attracting foreign companies who are willing to invest in houses because houses pay for themselves. So we will need to have housing projects in every city in Zimbabwe from January to December,” said the President.

President Mnangagwa said fuel supply shortages that have affected some parts of the country in recent weeks will in the near future be overcome.

“With regards to fuel, we have some problems but we signed an agreement for coal-bed methane [development] in Lupane starting in August. It produces fertiliser, fuel and electricity. After four years of that project alone, we will be able to produce eight million litres of fuel and this country only consumes five million per year which means we will be having excess of fuel after four years in this country. That same project will be giving us about 1 200MW of electricity and enough fertilizer from coal-bed methane. This country is rich.

“We have enough gold; this year we’re reaching 28 to 30 (tonnes) and next year we will reach 90 tonnes of gold and this means we will employ hundreds and thousands of people. It takes time for this to be felt by everybody but you can now feel that we are free and truly Zimbabweans and we are amongst ourselves as comrades as a party,” he said.

An idea of the Zanu-PF Youth League, the convention saw youths from the country’s 10 provinces articulating their social and economic issues which President Mnangagwa responded to. Chronicle


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