HARARE – Government's plan to build a pipeline from the Zambezi River to ease water shortages in Matabeleland was put off to complete work on the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam.
The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) is an ambitious project that seeks to end the perennial water shortages bedevilling Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo by bringing water from the mighty Zambezi river to the city.
Responding to Pumula MDC MP Godfrey Malaba’s concerns on lethargy on the project, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said they had started work on the proposed MZWP but put it on hold after the 2014 partial collapse of the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam wall resulted in flooding.
Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam is a just finished concrete-face rockfill dam on the Tokwe River, just downstream of its confluence with the Mukorsi River, about 72 kilometres south of Masvingo.
“It (MZWP) was disrupted because of the threat,” Chinamasa claimed.
“We had already pumped $35 million into Gwayi-Shangani, and a tender was awarded and work was done.
“However, when there was a threat on the Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam, we diverted those resources to finish the Tokwe-Mukorsi.
“We are now going to be more focused on it so that it is finished. I have been to the site and some work was done,” Chinamasa said.
Malaba had asked: “What is happening to the Zambezi water projects? So much work has been put on this and it was going to create some greenbelt from Hwange to Matabeleland.
“The people of Matabeleland are saying, ‘up to when are we going to continue suffering because we should benefit after these waters have been brought from the Zambezi waterways. We are suffering.’
“The people of Bulawayo are mourning, grieving, crying and they are saying, please put into fruition and implement the Zambezi water project.”