Zimbabwe’s Kariba dam ‘be to expanded’ after China deal

via BBC News – Zimbabwe’s Kariba dam ‘be to expanded’ after China deal

China has lent Zimbabwe $319m (£199m) to ease electricity shortages by expanding its Kariba hydropower station, Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.

The project will take four years to complete and increase Kariba’s capacity by 300 megawatts (MW), he said.

Zimbabwe often faces power outages, affecting households and businesses.

The deal highlights the “Look East” policy Zimbabwe adopted after falling out with Western powers.

Mr Chinamasa signed the deal with the vice-president of the state-owned China Exim Bank, Zhu Hongjie.

“This should go a long way in reducing power outages… For us the energy deficit has hamstrung the growth of our economy,” Mr Chinamasa said.

Zimbabwe produces about 1,200 MW of electricity but peak demand is 2,200 MW, Reuters news agency reports.

Kariba produces about 750 MW of electricity at its peak

The loan will attract annual interest of 2% and has a repayment period of 20 years, Mr Chinamasa said.

China was a strong supporter of Zimbabwe’s independence struggle against white minority rule.

The two countries strengthened ties after the European Union (EU) and US imposed sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner-circle after Zimbabwe’s 2002 elections.

The Western powers said the sanctions were in response to human rights abuses and political violence under Mr Mugabe’s rule.

In March, the EU suspended sanctions against 81 officials and eight firms in Zimbabwe.

The decision followed peaceful referendum on a new constitution which expands civil liberties in Zimbabwe organised by a coalition government.

Sanctions are still in force against 10 people, including President Mugabe.

He beat his rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, in elections in July. The elections went off peacefully but were marred by allegations of fraud.



  • comment-avatar
    Boss MyAss 9 years ago

    “This should go a long way in reducing power outages… For us the energy deficit has hamstrung the growth of our economy,” Mr Chinamasa said.Zimbabweans should brace for four more years of power blackouts as normal electricity supplies are only expected in 2018 after the completion of the Kariba South Hydro Extension project funded by China’s Exim Bank.“Without reliable energy supplies, our economic turnaround efforts will not bear fruit.For Zimbabwe, this has hamstrung efforts to revive our underperforming economy.”Analysts say improving power generation will jump-start the country’s economy which is showing signs of distress.

    I see trees of green…….. red roses too
    I see em bloom….. for me and for you
    And I think to myself…. what a wonderful world.

  • comment-avatar
    Chirau 9 years ago

    At what price I wonder. Chinamasa isn’t saying. China will do nothing for nothing.

  • comment-avatar
    cdeirshroud 9 years ago

    these (china) are true friends indeed, you will never get the same deal (2%pa interest rate) from western hypocrites

  • comment-avatar

    Give me a break who is not a hypocrite!! why cannot the money be sourced locally

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    The Chinese have been known for shoddy work but roll out the red carpet for them more than the other african communities just for their money

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    An not one African country to help the chinese people find the missing passengers on the missing plane shame on the african countries just put your hand out and beg