President laments power shortages

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe says electricity shortages and lack of appropriate technology are hampering the development of the mining sector.

Mugabe told delegates attending this year’s edition of the Diamond Conference that despite Zimbabwe being endowed with natural resources, the country remained in a poor state.

“But, so far, despite this huge mineral endowment, exploitation of the country’s minerals in general, upstream, side stream and downstream, have been limited by factors that include power shortages, technology gap and uneven market conditions,” he said. 

Zimbabwe, which has been experiencing massive power outages since the Zanu PF-led government won elections last year, was recently forced to revise its 2014 economic growth from 6,1 percent to 3,1 percent largely due to the non-performance of the mining industry.

In his mid-term policy statement, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa slashed mining sector growth for this year to -1,9 percent from the projected 10,7 percent.

The mining sector had been the most dynamic of Zimbabwe’s economy over the last five years, leading the country’s 2009-11 economic rebound with average annualised growth of 35 percent.

The sector contributes 45 percent to the country’s exports and $3 billion to Gross Domestic Product.

Mugabe said the southern African country can only benefit from its minerals through investment in appropriate technologies and undertaking new exploration projects to discover new mines and ramping up production on existing mines, among other measures.

“In spite of mining being an important contributor to the country’s economy, the mining sector has been limited to extraction and exportation of minerals in their raw or semi-processed form, without due care taken to beneficiation and value addition.

“The finite resources should be made to remain competitive, in both regional and global markets,” he added.

The veteran leader, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, said the success of the economic blueprint ZimAsset was premised on local mineral beneficiation and value addition.

“Local beneficiation and value addition of mineral commodities enhances value resulting in more revenue for the communities, investors and government, and in accruing additional benefits such as employment and infrastructure development,” he said.

The five-year economic blueprint — which according to Treasury requires $27 billion to be fully implemented — has failed to take off due to lack of funding.

Turning to beneficiation of diamonds, Mugabe noted that the country had reserved a minimum of 10 percent quota of all the rough diamond exports for local cutting and polishing.

“The quota will be reviewed as the cutting and polishing industry grows. Currently, the cutting and polishing industry is still in its infant stage,” he added.

Mugabe urged the delegates attending the conference to consider options to introduce existing and emerging technologies, derived from research and development, to make value addition and beneficiation a reality.

“African diamond producing countries and other developing countries have a lot to gain by transforming the mining industry from a predominantly extractive state to an integrated productive one that is informed by advances in science and technology, supported by mineral-specific well-trained human capacities and well-equipped infrastructures,” he said.

Comments (10)

Mugabe urged the delegates attending the conference to consider options to introduce existing and emerging technologies, derived from research and development, to make value addition and beneficiation a reality........EISH YOU GUYS......BRING YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND MONEY....THEN I WILL TAKE FROM YOU FOR FREE......

rudeboy - 7 November 2014

Is this guy even normal? Maybe if he started by paying his own electricity bills there would be hope for Zesa to raise funds for expanding electricity generating projects. 3 and a half decades later Mugabe speaks as if he has just taken over from someone else. He is actually telling the participants that he is incompetent.

Abbie - 7 November 2014

And this is the mhumpara running our country. What an embarrassment. Please zanu pf stand this guy down before his lights go out.

ronaldos - 7 November 2014

A stupid will remain a stupid just like one Mugabe . Who destroyed zesa ? Its you Mugabe , Who failed to build more power stations instead you opted to build private armies like gukurahundi to go and shoot civilians yes it is Mubwidi Mugabe. Who gave 50 000 zim dollars to those who volunteered to go to war to liberate their country which led to the crush of our economy it is none other than foolish Mugabe . Who killed the aggro industry which accounted for 60% of forex earnings ? It is you achimwene.Who is crafting investor unfriendly laws in zim ? It is you son of a malawian migrant carpenter . Did you know what exactly you were going into when you were given power by british in 1980? From what we have seen for the past 34 yrs you know nothing about running a country so as such you must accept responsibility of all the mess in country and resign .

Diibulaanyika - 7 November 2014

Where has the old man been all the time there has been power shortages ? in Singapore? Has he been asleep all this time??

Who is fooling who? - 7 November 2014

This old man slept on job for all these years and presided over a mess. Now he has the balls to say this garbage. It is a mess everywhere; hospitals, water, buses, trains, food...who is still listening to this fool!

Farai - 7 November 2014

I am one of those who wanted Mugabe to die a long time ago, but he would have died a hero and we would not have got to know the real Mugabe. But now I want him to stay alive as each and every day we now see how absolutely useless he actually is and always has been. He has NO idea how to run an economy on his own. All these years ( 34 of them) he has had the luxury of living off the fat left over from the post colonial period and done nothing further to value add to Zimbabwe. The colonials made him look good but now that there is no colonial meat left on the bone he has totally exposed himself as a highly incompetent leader and that's putting it politely.

ronaldos - 8 November 2014

I must say that I am 100 percent indigenous Zimbabwean, but I am ashamed of Mugabe. His looks, his ancestry, his atrocious legacy! I believe those who say he is Malawian! Because this man is not patriotic at all. He doesn't care what happens to youths in Gokwe, Nyanga, Dete, Dombodema, Hingwe or Kezi! All he knows is that he fought for this country and must misrule for ever. Mugabe is a disgrace he doesn't even care how many Zimbabweans have died trying to cross into South Africa. How many Zimbabweans lost assets and limbs going to diaspora! How many Zimbabweans are dying of preventable diseases (cholera and typhoid). How many Zimbabweans are landless (CHingwizi, Epworth, Ngozi Mine etc). Mugabe must hand over to other people so our country can move forward. He is too old, too weak, too stiff to lead us out of this quagmire.

Nduna - 8 November 2014

Where is the power going to. Mines, industry and farmers are not working at full capacity, to say electricity was supplied to wheat farmers is a sick joke, how much wheat are they going to produce? everyone knows that Mugabe has failed, to correct his failures he is doing nothing. So much for his degrees. I admired him when he first came into power, but now he disgusts me, he got no guts to admit he is wrong. What we need is a strong leader who will give up his or her life for the people not like the MDC people who are gutless.

GARI - 10 November 2014

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