Zvamaida Murwira in Marondera
Zimbabwe has 1,2 billion tonnes of chrome and several people including youths, are set to benefit from the export of some of the mineral in its raw form, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said. He said Government would allow the export of about 30 million tonnes as an empowerment initiative, but companies that had already been extracting the mineral for export would be compelled to continue doing value addition and beneficiation.
VP Mnangagwa, who is also the Second Secretary of Zanu-PF, said this while addressing thousands of party supporters at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera during a campaign rally aimed at drumming up support for the revolutionary party’s candidate Cde Lawrence Katsiru. Cde Katsiru will represent the party during a Marondera Central by-election to be held tomorrow.
The constituency fell vacant following the expulsion of Mr Ray Kaukonde over his links with former Vice President Joice Mujuru, who was implicated in a plot to assassinate President Mugabe. “Of the 1,2 billion tonnes we can extract only 1,5 million tonnes per year. For us to complete all the 1,2 billion tonnes, we need 1 000 years, which is too much so we said lets liberalise and export some of our chrome in its raw form. We have asked our youths to export at least 30 million tonnes in its raw form but for those companies that were already exporting, we will compel them to do beneficiation and value addition,” said VP Mnangagwa.
He said it would take at least 15 years to export the 30 million tonnes. Government lifted the ban that it had imposed on the export of raw chrome last year as part of measures of ensuring value addition and beneficiation, consistent with Zim-Asset. VP Mnangagwa also added that Zimbabwe would by December start receiving 600 tractors from Belarus, as part of implementation of mega deals that he negotiated when he went to that country a few months ago.
“We got about $150 million from Belarus. We have already submitted what we require on that money and by December shipping of 600 tractors would begin,” said VP Mnangagwa. He said all these mega deals were secured because of the wise leadership of Zanu-PF led by President Mugabe. He said MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai had no capacity to negotiate such mega deals.
VP Mnangagwa also unveiled 2 000 hectares of land that Government would give to Marondera Municipality for urban expansion to be used to develop residential stands, clinics and schools.
He urged Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs Minister Ambrose Mutinhiri to superintend the implementation of the urban expansion. “We do not want corruption. We say no to land barons,” he said. VP Mnangagwa commended Zanu-PF Politburo member and Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo for wining in Tsholotsho North in by-election held recently.
He said Prof Moyo, who was also at the rally, worked tirelessly to wrestle the seat from MDC-T. Prof Moyo won resoundingly in a by-election aimed at filling constituencies that became vacant following the MDC-T’s recall of its legislators that had defected to MDC Renewal. VP Mnangagwa expressed confidence that Zanu-PF would register a resounding election victory. He said the party was like an elephant were dogs might just bark at it but it continues to move unperturbed.
The rally was attended by Minister Mutinhiri, Zanu-PF national political commissar, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, who is also Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister, Politburo members Cdes Sydney Sekeramayi, David Parirenyatwa and Prof Moyo. Others included Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Cde Marble Chinomona, Zanu-PF Mashonaland East provincial chairperson, Cde Joel Biggie Matiza and Chief Musarurwa.