Priority to the importation of fuel in the allocation of foreign currency
The Committee noted with concern the foreign payment challenges which have been faced by fuel importers in the country and the Committee recommends that the Government prioritises the importation of fuel in view of its importance in the production value chain process.
The late release of funds has a negative effect on the Ministry’s budget as prices might rise before the Ministry makes payments. Therefore, it is critical for the Minister, in the 2018 projects such as the planned purchase of the ZIMRE centre building and the development of cadastre system, to be disbursed timeously.
Ensure the speedy implementation of the Gwanda solar energy project
This project had actually attracted a lot of majority, especially people in the country including, MPs. The situation was worsened by the media houses which provided conflicting statements regarding the project starters. Some of the reports have sited irregularities in the manner in which the tender was awarded and the payment of the initial $5 million paid to the contractor that is Inter Track. The Committee is concerned to know that the work that has been done and the amount paid to the contractor does not tally. To win back the people’s confidence, it is recommended that the implementation of the project moves with speed so that tangible results are seen instead of continued reports that the project is still at the preparation stage of the project cycle. The Committee further recommends that the Procurement Regulatory Authority Board should move with speed in coming up with a framework that will ensure that in future controversies that surround the Gwanda solar project do not occur again, such as the payment made in the absence of a performance bond.
In conclusion Hon. Speaker, while the Committee on Mines welcomes the budget allocation to the two ministries, the Committee strongly feels that the potential of the mining and the energy sector to optimize their contribution to the socio economic development of the country can be fully unlocked if Treasury plays its part. This can be done through the timeously releasing of funds and resolving a number of outstanding issues which the Committee has been raising during the past 3 years. Treasury should seriously consider the concerns raised by the Committee since most of them were emanating from its interactions with various stakeholders in both the mining and energy sector. This is the end of the report Hon. Speaker.