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A second President is possible for Zimbabwe to save the little left

by Justice Maphosa
21 July 2019 | 2406 Views
The citizens may have lost out on many resources (mining) but remember we can still support anyone we want to turn our fortunes around. We need to have one we anoint as an economic leader, one we can trust to help with projects.

In 1985, a charity song, "We are the World", written by Lionel Richie and the Late Michael Jackson raised more than $60 million for the victim of the worst famine to hit the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia being of the countries).

At one point Ethiopia was one of the poorest countries in the world. Still ordinary Ethiopians (home and abroad) raised close to S450 million (USD) to build a dam which was said to generate 6000MW of electricity (hydro-power). Ok the government was largely involved but we can still do the same as ordinary citizens.

I was impressed that ordinary citizens built Hopley Tariro clinic with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and Harare City Health Department.  We can do more I believe.

I Googled about countries that were worse off and are now developed and 10 countries popped up. We do not have control over mines but we do have control over our agricultural way of life.   

A solar farm which can generate 300MW of electricity, will cost between $100 million to $120 million (USD) to construct (834 000 x 360W solar panels etc.).

I do not like party politics because once one is elected, he/she is going to fill critical positions (ministry) with party loyalists and most who are not fit to hold office. I think recruiting to attract that unknown with scarce skills is the way. Nevertheless I think of the People's choice, "Nelson Chamisa". I think he is the one who can help lead such an initiative that is attracting funds from ordinary citizens (home and abroad) and other well-wishers. What is needed is a person who can be trusted and one who can show that it is possible.   

For a solar farm project, I am sure Zimbabweans, ambassadors, NGOs can help fund such a project (Zimbabwean project) only if politicians are not involved (do not mind them coming to cut the ribbon).

We have some of the hottest regions on earth (Matebeleland, Masvingo and Midlands) and if Ethiopians managed to raise $450 million (that is enough to erect three solar farms in these provinces that can generate 300MW of electricity each).

We can also look at biogas, copy from successful countries using this technique to generate electricity. Our cities can benefit from this initiative.

I was privileged to visit some farmers especially in South Africa because of the products I sell (livestock trackers, solar kits, Smart city CCTV tech) and these farmers are successful because they are well resourced (blacks as well). Five hectares of land they will finish ploughing within a day because they have a 400 horse power tractor that can pull a thirty disc ploughs.
I visited NAMPO Harvest (Bothaville, Free State) this year (just like our Trade Fair, Harare Agricultural Show). It attracts close to 120 000 visitors and I was impressed with their product range, that is from John Deer Tractors, Case II Tractors, combine harvesters, light aircraft, helicopters (let me just say farm equipment). From my own observations, 80% of visitors were whites (told their schools closed during this period while schools for blacks were open [that is the situation there unfortunately).

Just for interest's sake, some of these tractors costs between R3 million to R7 million (South African Rands) and are worthy every cent. We have less expensive tractors that can do the job.

I imagine buying such (roughly 10 villages can benefit from 1) and this can change the way we farm. Solar farm irrigation, building dams in rivers, solar pumps, tanks etc. as a way of harvesting water.

I am avoiding to say farms because most politicians owns some of them and still, rural land is more vast than farms hence a good start.

At one point almost 6000 wild animals were moved to Mozambique from Gonarezhou National Park. I saw that as a lost opportunity. I have seen people with just a hectare breeding game animals in South Africa (cities). I have some of family members working in game farms in South Africa and it is amazing how their employers are doing to contribute to the GDP of the South African economy. They say game hunting contributes close to R52 billion. I asked my family members if they will breed wild animals when they return, unfortunately that believe that it is not for us. We cannot be breeding dogs to hunt extinct wild animals. In actual fact we can have such small projects as households, villages etc.

I mentioned the above because our economic leader will push that we achieve that. This will be shared with the world to further attract more help not loans. Once the world see that something good is being done, obviously they will join in.

It was sad that our girls who went on to study in Russia resorted to prostitution because of tough times. That is where our economic leader will come in, assist in such situations from such funds, help organize students to study abroad even working abroad. An influential leader obviously will convince some foundations to help the youth to get the require skills (Obama Foundation and Oprah Winfrey comes to kind).

We can look at countries which require semi-skilled labor (not necessary to be a beast of burden), like Germany and say we have about a 1000 youth that completed their A "Level in different disciplines (remember at one point Germany was in need of also most a million of semi-skilled personnel, also Canada is looking for skilled personnel).  
Also it is essential to build institutions where people can get skills (cities and towns). What can our schools do to sustain themselves? I learnt of an Agricultural School in Warmbath, South Africa (Settlers), it generate a revenue of R3 million through its livestock and poultry projects as well as farming. They say it used to supply supermarket chains in surrounding cities with chickens, eggs and vegetables.

The village where I come from, there is a boarding school which buys vegetables about 200KM away. A school can also invest in such villages and benefit in the long run (admit we all have a duty).

I imagine Zimbabwe having a bumper harvest and our economic leader approaching foreign governments, NGOs that we have a surplus of about 100 million tonnes of maize to sell to them for drought relief programmes etc. in other countries.

One can think of recycling, have plants in our cities and towns. Remember these are projects for Zimbabweans and free from tenders etc.

Do we have to wait for 2023 elections for an unknown outcome? We can live free by looking at some of the things we can have control of. The above is not to humiliate the government and I apologize if it negatively affects anyone. It is what I think we can do moving forward.

I just sympathize with what most are going through in our country. I am not a rich person but earn a better living to afford a few little things. When I see/read what is happening it pains a lot just to say the least.

We have protested, showed our pain on various platforms (social media) but I think we can do something without fighting anyone. Slowly we will get our lives back.   

Lastly, many people wanted to know more about the solar power system.

On- grid tied solar power system: Means your solar system is tied to your local utility's grid (ZESA). If the school's solar power system under produces its energy, ZESA utility system will act as the school's battery space. If the school is producing more energy from its solar power system, the excess energy is send to ZESA's grid, allowing the school to build credit that it can cash out at the end of the year in a process called net metering. Unfortunately currently we do not have such regulations in most African countries if not all (not even in South Africa though some companies and households are already using the hybrid solar system).  

In the case of Zimbabwe, we cannot say being grid-tied is beneficiary because without the battery back-up system to store any excess energy, this means during load shedding (ZESA), the system is also off.

Off-Grid solar power system: Means you are not connected in any way to your grid's power system (ZESA). The school in this case is 100% self-sustaining its energy use. As standalone, it has a battery backup and at night when the solar panels are not generating energy then the power stored in the batteries is used.  This system works best in remote areas where they are no power lines.

Hybrid solar power system: This is the third option and intelligently gives the school the best of both worlds. In addition to a grid connection system, the system also has a battery backup system (in case of load shedding). The ability to earn Feed-In-Tariff Credits will depend with the power utility, ZESA (worth repeating that it is not the case with most African countries currently).  
Justice Maphosa is the Business owner of Find Me Security Technology in South Africa, a company that specializes in livestock Solar Collar GPS Trackers and other security early warning systems.


International Labour Organisation UNPF Nelson Chamisa

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Source: Justice Maphosa


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