Zam­bia, Zim­babwe keen on hy­dro-elec­tric scheme

Daily Nation Newspaper - - NORTH-WESTERN / MOSI-OA-TUNYA NEWS - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

THE gov­ern­ments of the repub­lic of Zam­bia and Zim­babwe have reaf­firmed their com­mit­ment to­wards the con­struc­tion of Ba­toka Gorge Hy­dro- elec­tric Scheme (BGHES) on the Zam­bezi River.

The two gov­ern­ments have how­ever raised con­cern over the con­tin­ued de­lays of the start of the project.

Speak­ing dur­ing the of­fi­cial open­ing of 36th Coun­cil of min­is­ters meet­ing of the Zam­bezi River Au­thor­ity (ZRA) in Vic Falls, Zim­babwe on Fri­day, Out­go­ing Chair­per­son Min­is­ter of En­ergy and Power Devel­op­ment in Zim­babwe Jo­rum Gumbo said that the BGHES re­mains an im­por­tant project which the two gov­ern­ments must ful­fill.

Mr. Gumbo said that the meet­ing in Zim­babwe presents an im­por­tant plat­form for a re­view of the au­thor­ity’s cur­rent year per­for­mance and pro­vide pol­icy di­rec­tion to guide au­thor­ity op­er­a­tions in the com­ing year. “The agenda of to­day’s meet­ing shall amongst other crit­i­cal is­sues, re­view progress on the Kariba Dam re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion project, the Ba­toka

Gorge Hy­dro-elec­tric Scheme, the im­pact of the au­thor­i­ties cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity pro­grammes on the com­mu­ni­ties, the sus­tain­abil­ity of the au­thor­ity co­op­er­a­tion and ap­proval of the 2019 bud­get,” he said.

Mr. Gumbo charged that It is the man­date of the meet­ing of coun­cil of min­is­ters to pro­vide pol­icy di­rec­tion to guide man­age­ment on mat­ters of crit­i­cal im­por­tance af­fect­ing the au­thor­ity’s ca­pac­ity to dis­charge its spe­cial man­date.

He said that the re­cent months have wit­nessed a lot of in­ter­est be­ing ex­pressed in the Ba­toka project, which is a pos­i­tive in­di­ca­tor of the com­mer­cial in­ter­est of the project.

“It is there­fore, im­per­a­tive that we move with speed to con­clude the prepa­ra­tion stud­ies in order to cap­i­talise on this surge in in­ter­est be­ing ex­pressed in the project,” he said.

“This meet­ing should be penul­ta­tive the way for­ward on the Ba­toka BGHES project,” he said. “Our prin­ci­pals are now ag­i­tated by the de­lays in com­ple­tion of the prepara­tory stud­ies and if we do not move with speed they might take their own route on project im­ple­men­ta­tion and for us the min­is­ters present here our jobs could be in line of fire,” he added.

“….i think those around the ta­ble here heard me loud and clear as I think they heard me and I think if our jobs are go­ing to be on line I think we must also turn around and also put their jobs on line, so its scratch my back and I scratch yours,” said Mr. Gumbo.

And En­ergy Min­is­ter of Zam­bia Matthews Nkhuwa who is the in­com­ing chair­per­son start­ing Jan­uary 1, 2019 urged coun­cil mem­bers to keep their eyes on the ball and make sure they ap­prove de­liv­er­ables that are sup­posed to ap­prove.

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