Mega deals with China signed

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Love­more Chikova in Bei­jing, China

THE Gov­ern­ment and Sino-Hy­dro of China yes­ter­day signed a $600 mil­lion agree­ment for the con­struc­tion of Kun­zvi-Musami Dam while NetOne clinched a deal with Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd for it to over­haul its sys­tems.

Per­ma­nent sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment, Wa­ter and Cli­mate Mr Prince Mu­pazvir­iho signed the agree­ment with Si­noHy­dro. The NetOne deal, which sources said was worth hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars, was signed by act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Mr Brian Mu­tandiro.

The deals were signed at a Sem­i­nar on Chi­naAfrica Busi­ness Co­op­er­a­tion at­tended by more than 400 rep­re­sen­ta­tives of busi­ness from China and Africa.

Speak­ing af­ter sign­ing the agree­ment with Sino-Hy­dro of­fi­cials, Mr Mu­pazvir­iho said con­struc­tion of the long-awaited Kun­zvi-Musami Dam should be­gin early next year.

“This in­vest­ment agree­ment in­cludes con­struc­tion of the pipe­line from the dam to where we are go­ing to build the wa­ter treat­ment plant,” he said.

“We see it as a ma­jor mile­stone to­wards ad­dress­ing the short­age of wa­ter in the Greater Harare area. I hope that by the 1st of April 2017 we should be do­ing the con­struc­tion.”

Greater Harare cov­ers Ruwa, Ep­worth, Chi­tung­wiza, Nor­ton and the new city in Mt Ham­p­den, which feed on wa­ter sup­plied by Harare.

“In the ab­sence of dev­as­tat­ing cli­mate change ef­fects, the dam will also go a long way in terms of har­ness­ing wa­ter for fu­ture use,” said Mr Mu­pazvir­iho.

“This is the first phase of the pro­ject and its worth around $600 mil­lion.”

The Kun­zvi-Musami Dam pro­ject, 67 kilo­me­tres north-east of Harare on Nyaguwi River, was mooted more than 30 years ago, but lack of funds fore­stalled con­struc­tion.

For his part, Mr Mu­tandiro said the NetOne deal should re­sult in firm adapt­ing new tech­nolo­gies and con­struc­tion of more than 3,000 net­work base sta­tions.

He said the deal would be the third phase of the firm’s mo­bile broad­band net­work ex­pan­sion.

“It will take NetOne to an­other level to make us the big­gest net­work provider with 100 per­cent na­tional cov­er­age,” said Mr Mu­tandiro.

“It will come with the cur­rent tech­nol­ogy of 4.5G. Some are al­ready mi­grat­ing from 4G to 4.5G and it will keep NetOne cur­rent and rel­e­vant and will make us very piv­otal in trans­form­ing the coun­try through ICT with all these ICT plat­forms, and we are very ex­cited.”

Mr Mu­tandiro said the Min­istry of Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment would now start work­ing on guar­an­tees and the nec­es­sary pa­per­work.

“Right now, we don’t want to talk about the fi­nances, but it’s a mega pro­ject and ob­vi­ously we want the Min­istry of Fi­nance to do the ex­tra pro­cesses,” he said.

“This is mon­u­men­tal and it’s one of five projects se­lected through­out the whole of Africa. Usu­ally, these are huge projects and they will have a ges­ta­tion pe­riod of about 18 months.”

Mr Mu­tandiro said they would work with au­thor­i­ties like the Harare City Coun­cil to cre­ate smart cities in their man­age­ment by ap­ply­ing new tech­nolo­gies. Co-or­di­na­tors of projects be­ing un­der­taken by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment from al­most all African coun­tries will also meet to­day to re­view progress on such deals.

Zimbabwe will be rep­re­sented by Macro Eco­nomic Plan­ning and Investments Pro­mo­tion Min­is­ter Obert Mpofu.

Min­is­ter Mpofu, to­gether with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of other African gov­ern­ments, was yes­ter­day in­tro­duced to Chi­nese Vice Pres­i­dent Mr Li Yuan­chao.

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