Thuli-Manyange Dam completion to miss target 

Source: Thuli-Manyange Dam completion to miss target – NewsDay Zimbabwe

Lands and Agriculture minister, Anxious Masuka

LACK of funding has stalled Thuli-Manyange Dam construction in Matabeleland South province.

The dam is most likely going to miss its December completion target amid concerns that government is introducing new projects, while several are incomplete.

The new projects, that are being introduced in Matabeleland South province, are now perceived as an election gimmick as the country heads to the 2023 polls.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement minister Anxious Masuka was grilled last week in the National Assembly on progress of dam construction projects.

MDC Alliance proportional representation MP Sipho Mokone asked Masuka why government was starting new projects before completing old ones.

She said it did not make sense to begin a new dam project when dams such as Gwayi-Shangani are still incomplete.

Masuka said the project would miss its December 2022 completion target due to poor funding.

“Thuli-Manyange is a 33 million cubic metre dam currently being constructed with an initial target completion date of December 2022. The current works are centred on the main dam foundation excavation and work on the two saddle dams have been done though not yet completed,” Masuka said.

“However, the cofferdam has been completed and so you are able to impound water for the communities to begin to benefit. Overall, the stage of completion of the whole dam stands at 12%. The other dam components include the development of irrigation canals and infield works to support 1 600-hectare irrigation in the Guyu, Makokwe Hills area and clear water supply station for Ntepe, Guyuwe and Manama.

“So the rate of progress would have been better had resources been made available on time.  So, it is highly unlikely that this dam will be completed as originally scheduled.”

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Matabeleland South chairperson Solani Moyo told Southern Eye that government is introducing new projects as a political tool ahead of the elections, yet a lot of projects remained unfinished.

“The government is introducing these new projects towards elections just to hoodwink people to vote for them. Why not finish those that are already there and are affected by siltation like Antelope Dam in Maphisa and Moza Dam? They are doing the same even pertaining to roads, they  pretend as if they will resuscitate them, but only to patch them with soil,’’ Moyo said.