By Tichaona Kurewa
GOVERNMENT’S diligence in the implementation of the National Development Strategy One has been attributed to the massive re-industrialisation of various provinces, including Matabeleland North Province.
This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned and assessed projects that are set to transform people’s livelihoods in Matabeleland North Province.
The President’s first port of call in Matabeleland North Province was Hwange where he assessed the upgraded Deka Water Pumping Station and the river water intake system.
He then went on to commission a solar project at Cross Mabale, before assessing progress at the Gwayi Shangani Lake, whose benefits to the community are well documented.
While the last two projects will boost economic activities in the province, it is the Deka pipeline project that was an eye-opener on how the government is using the Zimbabwe is open for business drive as a key pedestal for economic development.
“Our efforts at government to government level relationship are complemented by the presence of Indian businesses and the vibrant Indian diaspora in Zimbabwe. Indian investments in Zimbabwe are in the order of US$500 million in different sectors such as manufacturing and mining. The relationship between our two countries is full of possibilities and we must do everything within our power to further enhance it. The Deka pumping station and river water intake system that is being constructed and upgraded will boost the operational efficiency of the Hwange Thermal Power Plant and help lower the electricity production cost. The Deka pipeline will also provide water to communities along the pipeline and Hwange town. This will be an important milestone and symbol in the relationship between Zimbabwe and India,” said India’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vijay Khanduja.
The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Zhemu Soda clarified the project timelines and how energy sufficiency is key to Zimbabwe’s re-industrialisation agenda.
“When the project is complete, it will play an important role in anchoring the generation of electricity at Hwange Thermal Power Station. The project is now 24 per cent complete and we are confident that it will meet the projected completion timelines of March 2023 which will coincide with the commissioning of Hwange Unit 8,” he said.
The people of Matabeleland North spoke on the benefits that the province is set to accrue from the Deka pipeline and other projects such as Gwayi Shangani lake, Hwange 7 and 8 expansion project, and independent power projects.
“We are grateful for what the government is doing. This shows that everyone is cared for and development reaches everyone. We thank the government for these initiatives,” said Chief Hwange.
Energy self-sufficiency, food security and employment are top on the list of issues being addressed by the government which is not leaving anyone behind in its quest to attain an upper middle-income society by 2030