Hope for Gwayi-Shangani Dam

SA con­sor­tium in­ter­ested in com­plet­ing project

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Leonard Ncube in Gwayi

A CON­SOR­TIUM of South African in­vestors has ex­pressed in­ter­est in com­plet­ing the con­struc­tion of Gwayi-Shangani Dam which has re­mained in limbo for years due to lack of fund­ing.

Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko met the prospec­tive con­trac­tors on a visit to the dam site in Gwayi yes­ter­day.

VP Mphoko said the project was crit­i­cal to the Mata­bele­land re­gion and the coun­try as a whole as it would cre­ate a green­belt as well as feed into Bulawayo’s in­dus­trial growth.

“Last time I came here I was very dis­ap­pointed be­cause noth­ing had hap­pened. As I in­quired, what I was told is a long story while the Zim­babwe Na­tional Wa­ter Author­ity has its own ap­proach,” he said.

VP Mphoko said Gov­ern­ment was com­mit­ted to mak­ing sure the project is com­pleted.

“The his­tory of this dam dates back to 1912 but noth­ing has hap­pened to date. There was a trial by Malaysians and they failed. Then came the Chi­nese and noth­ing hap­pened and they are still on the ground. Dams all over the coun­try have come up yet this one is in limbo.

“We are look­ing for in­vestors and if you peo­ple can come on board from South Africa we re­ally thank you be­cause our peo­ple and an­i­mals need wa­ter,” he said.

VP Mphoko said the time for bick­er­ing was over and Gov­ern­ment needs se­ri­ous in­vestors.

“We don’t want prom­ises. We need wa­ter. If you are ca­pa­ble of do­ing this project we can talk about how you will re­coup your money. We need this wa­ter as soon as pos­si­ble,” he said.

The VP said the project would in­volve all play­ers such as Zinwa.

The Min­is­ter of State for Mata­bele­land North Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs Cain Math­ema, who ac­com­pa­nied the VP along­side se­nior Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and heads of de­part­ments, said the dam was crit­i­cal in turn­ing the province into a com­mer­cial green zone.

“There will be a need for a lot of pip­ing and pumps to pump wa­ter all the way to Bulawayo. There will be a green­belt with ir­ri­ga­tion schemes as we want to turn the province into a com­mer­cial farm­ing area.

“All the peo­ple in the province were brought to stay here by whites so they live on sub­sis­tence farm­ing but now we want our peo­ple to be pro­duc­ers. We hope we will work to­gether,” he said.

e in­vestors Kin­fedi, Ha­mon Pvt Ltd and Thaga En­gi­neer­ing, all from South Africa, are in­ter­ested in the project that is cur­rently be­ing spear­headed by China In­ter­na­tional Wa­ter and Elec­tric (CIWE), a com­pany con­tracted by Gov­ern­ment to con­struct the dam but has failed to get the ball rolling due to lack of fund­ing.

Lo­cal con­sul­tants Mr Duke Thube­lihle Ncube and Mr Dar­ryn Ny­atanga, both of GBI Ltd, iden­ti­fied the in­vestors and took them to VP Mphoko’s of­fice.

Speak­ing on be­half of the in­vestors, Mr Felix Maziya, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Kin­fedi, said they have Ital­ian part­ners who have a com­mend­able track record and ready to start work.

“Kin­fedi is an en­abler to lo­cal part­ners and we look into chal­lenges the re­gion is fac­ing in terms of in­fra­struc­ture and we are bring­ing in strong play­ers who have the ca­pac­ity to de­velop the area.

“We have Ital­ian part­ners CMC who are the 3rd largest con­struc­tion com­pany in the world and have a hefty bal­ance sheet. Our other part­ner is Al­lied In­ter­na­tional which is among the top five world pip­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers,” he said.

CMC di Ravenna was the main con­trac­tor in the build­ing of Mazvikadei Dam in Mashona­land West, as well as big­ger dam projects in Al­ge­ria, Malawi, Mozam­bique, South Africa and Tan­za­nia.

Ha­mon Pvt Ltd man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mrs Shirly Koketso said they were ready to start work.

“We have al­ways had in­ten­tions to work in Zim­babwe as we are into power sta­tions and con­struc­tion. Duke brought us to the VP where we dis­cussed about the project and we are pre­pared to work with you as we seek fund­ing and part­ners,” she said.

Close to $90 mil­lion is re­port­edly re­quired to com­plete the project, which is part of the so­lu­tion to Bulawayo’s peren­nial wa­ter prob­lems and ro­bust agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment in the province.

The project is a ma­jor com­po­nent of the lon­gawaited Na­tional Mata­bele­land Zam­bezi Wa­ter Project (NMZWP).

No work is be­ing done on site as of now. — @ ncubeleon

Min­is­ter of State for Mata­bele­land North Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs Cain Math­ema (third from right) shows the dam site to Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko (cen­tre) and in­vestors Mr Koketso Molefi, Mr Felix Maziya (partly ob­scured) and Hwange Dis­trict Ad­min­is­tra­tor Miss Nokukhanya Jubane (right)

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