ZIMBABWE President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to push ahead with a hydro-electric power project on the Zambezi River as he campaigns ahead of the July 30 election on a promise to rebuild the shattered economy.
He has said he intends to tackle mass unemployment by luring back foreign investment and investing in infrastructure.
‘It is a $4.5bn project and we are doing it in partnership with the Zambian government,’ Monday’s state-owned Herald newspaper quoted Mnangagwa as saying.
He and Zambian President Edgar Lungu ‘have agreed that the project must go ahead,’ Mnangagwa said at a campaign rally on Saturday.
The 1,600MW project is expected to create 6,000 jobs.
The proposal for the dam, 50km downstream of the Victoria Falls, was first mooted in the 1970s and revived by an engineering assessment in 2014.
Mnangagwa’s promise comes just over a week after he commissioned a $1.5bn unit at Hwange Power Station in a joint venture between Zimbabwe and China’s Sinohydro.
The country produces 1,200MW of electricity but relies on imports from SA and Mozambique to meet its demand of 1,400MW.
Mnangagwa faces Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa in the presidential race.