Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

‘Kariba, Tugwi-Mukosi power projects too expensive for poor Zimbos’

Electricity projects at Kariba Dam Hydroelectric Power Station are too expensive for poor Zimbabweans, says Norton legislator Temba Mliswa.

Much of Zimbabwe’s electricity is produced at Kariba Dam which has an installed capacity of generating around 1 050 megawatts, operating on eight machines.

Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority General Manager George Manyaya said Kariba “is the most reliable compared to Hwange Thermal Power Station which has an installed capacity of 950 megawatt.”

Posting on his Twitter handle Mliswa said the water table at Kariba had decreased. While the government said it has plans to expand power projects at the dam, the independent MP said the “cost for these projects is so high it’s better to start a new project.”

“The water table in Kariba is currently very low. For a long time this place hasn’t been getting enough water. At times the cost for these projects is so high it’s better to start a new project. The projects are not pro-poor as they take so much from poor people,” Mliswa said.

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Two years ago, the government said it had initiated construction of a 15-megawatt hydro power plant at Tugwi-Mukosi Dam in Chivi. But Mliswa said the construction of the dam itself was surrounded by corruption controversies.

“The costs are also inflated. The various responsible committees should check these things. Tugwi-Mukosi is another example, it was pegged at US$55 million, went to US$120 million and then someone got the tender at US$140 million. The taxpayers bear all these humongous costs.

“How does the country grow? Worse off, the companies are foreign and the money goes out. The benefit of the project becomes minuscule.

“There needs to be a Parliamentary review of how these projects are done. The Public Accounts should get involved, review and monitor. Unfortunate that some of these committees are impotent, you wonder if they exist.”

The Tugwi-Mukosi power project is expected to have the capacity to light up the whole of Masvingo. Nehanda Radio