‘Zambezi water for Bulawayo by 2018’

via ‘Zambezi water for Bulawayo by 2018’ by Herbert Moyo November 22, 2013  Zimbabwe Independent

THE 2018 completion of the much-talked about but stalled National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project to end Bulawayo and the region’s water woes is among the major highlights of the ambitious list of infrastructural developments government has set itself in its latest economic blueprint — the Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).

If completed the project, first mooted almost a century ago by the then Rhodesian government, would bring relief to Bulawayo and the Matabeleland region where perennial water problems have been partly blamed for de-industrialisation. It would also benefit residents who have had to go for 72 hours each week without water as part of stringent measures to manage a severe shortage caused by low inflows into the city’s supply dams.

But Dumisani Nkomo, Habakkuk Trust chief executive officer and spokesperson for the Matabeleland Civil Society Forum said while possible, “it is highly unlikely that government will complete the project by 2018 given its poor record of delivery in Matabeleland”.

“They will continue talking, but there is never any delivery or transparency in their activities; they should come clean about the deal they signed with the Chinese which was announced by (former water resources minister Samuel) Sipepa-Nkomo,” said Nkomo in an interview yesterday.

President Robert Mugabe campaigned for re-election in the July 31 elections promising Bulawayo and Matabeleland that, among other things, Zanu PF would bring water to the region and restore the city’s yester-year status as the industrial hub of the country.

“Our cities are dying,” Mugabe bemoaned. “Bulawayo was once a thriving industrial hub in the country, but now it has become a sorry industrial scrapyard.”

Other cities and rural communities would also benefit from the construction of large-scale projects under ZimAsset including the long-awaited Kunzvi Dam (Mashonaland East), Chivhu Dam, Tuli-Manyange Dam (Matabeleland South).

According to ZimAsset, water treatment plants and boreholes will either be constructed or refurbished in all the cities and provinces.

However, there are serious doubts the lofty projects will be funded as repeated efforts by government — which is broke and struggling to lure investors wary of its controversial empowerment policy — to secure loans have so far hit a brick-wall.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa last week made impassioned pleas to Western diplomats to normalise economic and political ties, telling them to channel development assistance through government rather than non-governmental associations.

Chinamasa is scheduled to visit China this month-end to seal a US$10 billion financial rescue package for Zimbabwe that ruling party Zanu PF believes will kick-start the economy.



  • comment-avatar
    Mr Mixed Race 9 years ago

    It is impossible for the current government to implement this project.This is a huge project taking into account that the distance involved is more than 400km up stream.The technical logistics involved are complicated and require proper planning and application.The fact that it has been on waiting list for so many years is proof of its complexity and very expensive.People should be reminded that many useless promises are given during campaigning.

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      Mafuta 9 years ago

      RU loco, logistics and financing are a piffle. In the 90’s Bechtel corp offered to build a water pipeline to Bwyo hiring Zim laborers and with not a penny cost to Zim. The ZPF told them to shove it. If it benefits Bulawayo, it will not happen in 1000 years

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    chilimanzi 9 years ago

    Honestly did matabeleland and bulawayo in particular have to wait until 2018 are you not ashamed GOD HELP US

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    Carlos Mangena 9 years ago

    There are somethings which look very innocent while they are not.Why is it that projects or vital institutions based in Matebeleland need the prefix “National” while those in other parts of the country are simply called by their geographical locations.(National) University of Science and Technology,(National) Matebeleland Zambezi Water Project vs Bindura Unirvesity of Science and Technology and the Chisumbanje Ethanol Project.What is national about the projects in Matebaleland that is not with others in the rest of the country ?

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      Kubota Binga 9 years ago

      Yebo Baba,
      The Matabeleland ones have “National” so they can attract national audience, eg NUST got rid of Bulawayo (BUST) just so it can appeal to the majority in Zim, who by no irony make up the majority every year at this intstituion both student numbers and lecturers.

      The opposite is true for other regions, named thus for the exclusion of mabeles!
      Divisive me? No its an open observation, probably not an observation, just reality.

      The same applies to MDC ruling in Zim… forget it until the majority is fully against ZANU PF. right now its more ZANU than other. So whether Rob rigs and sleeps on the job after rigging, as long as the majority can’t stomach being led by the a mix of marity/matabele, just forget and forget. ZANU shall rule for ever. Who can change it?..Only majority can do that.

      Ever asked yourself why Gibson Sibanda was pushed aside to make way for Morgan? Yes a face that looks like the majority, just as was suggested for AGO, a face that looks like the majority…….

      Anyway to hell with me. Please dont disect my comment.

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    munzwa 9 years ago

    $10 billion from China!WOW wonder what the terms will be….

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    sancho 9 years ago

    Its been about 20yrs since the government started Bulawayo-Nkayi road. Only a mere 20-30km of 150km have been done. Talking about 400km+ thus something else.

  • comment-avatar