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US$800m rural power deal ready

by Staff reporter
09 Oct 2022 at 07:52hrs | Views
A US$800 million rural electrification programme will be launched this month, with Rwandan President Paul Kagame set to visit the country for the historic unveiling, President Mnangagwa has said.

He was addressing a bumper crowd at a Zanu-PF "Thank You Rally" held at Uswaushava Primary School in Chiredzi North Constituency.

Thirty-five thousand people voted for President Mnangagwa in Chiredzi North Constituency in the 2018 harmonised elections and this figure was the highest tally of Presidential votes among National Assembly seats.

With Zimbabwe among the fastest-growing economies on the continent in the last five years, President Mnangagwa said there was increasing demand for electricity.

He said the massive electrification programme was part of the Second Republic's rural development agenda, and also one of the solutions to end current power shortages.

It feeds into the Government's rural development agenda, which encompasses the creation of smart homes equipped with clean energy, potable water and nutrition gardens.

"We have a programme which is coming at the end of this month. President Kagame of Rwanda is visiting us for this occasion," the President said.

"This is after I spoke to him to say fellow brother, our country Zimbabwe is on sanctions but we have a programme to ensure everyone has access to electricity wherever they are.

"President Kagame then spoke to his friends and he secured US$800 million. So, that's the facility that he is coming to launch."

Very soon, President Mnangagwa said, every citizen will have electricity regardless of where they are.

The game-changing electrification programme is similar to an initiative implemented in Rwanda, which is one of Africa's fastest-growing economies.

"If you go to Rwanda and see what President Kagame has done in the villages, it is well-organised," he said.

"Over there, they work in unity, with Government assistance. That way, there is no family which is left behind because every household is assisted out of poverty."

President Mnangagwa said the expansion of the Hwange Thermal Power Station is another intervention which will ease electricity shortages.

"There is a shortage of electricity in the country and the SADC region at large," the President said.

"In our case this is mainly because of the economic growth we have experienced in recent years.

"But we are addressing that and through the help of our friends in China we are rehabilitating Hwange Thermal Power Station and in November we will have 300 MW coming into our national grid while another 300 MW will be added by March next year to make it 600 MW."

President Mnangagwa said the measures will spur rural development and industrialisation adding that Chiredzi North will not be left behind.

"I was impressed with how you voted in 2018 and today I'm impressed you came in large numbers and waited patiently in the heat of the sun for your leaders to address you," he said.

"To say thank you, I will make sure that Chiredzi North is not left behind in our development agenda.

"Particularly, I have been told that those who were displaced during construction of Lake Mutirikwi and Tokwe Murkosi are yet to get official documents for the new land on which they were settled.

"(Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development) Minister Anxious Masuka told me that these will be ready by December. They will get irrigation and nutrition gardens on their newly settled land."

President Mnangagwa said Government has procured sufficient borehole drilling rigs to beef up the rural borehole drilling scheme.

"We had bought 40 rigs to drill 35 000 solar powered boreholes in every rural ward," he said.

"We have purchased more, which will arrive soon to ensure that each district has at least one permanent drilling rig. Here in Chiredzi North, they have already drilled 70 boreholes. This is the rural development and industrialisation model which we are pursuing."

As the summer cropping season commences, the President said the country has secured enough fertiliser.

"We have been getting the bulk of our fertiliser from Russia. But now there is a conflict there and there were challenges in securing fertiliser from those countries," he said.

"But then we realised that we have most of the resources needed to manufacture on our own. Recently I launched a fertiliser manufacturing plant so that we can be able to meet our own needs."

President Mnangagwa donated 60 tonnes of maize, 120 tonnes of Compound A and Compound D fertiliser, 20 tonnes of maize seed and small grains, 3 tonnes of grease, US$50 000 and 50 knapsacks to Chiredzi North Constituency.

Speaking at the rally, Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga lauded President Mnangagwa for his unwavering commitment to develop Zimbabwe.

"He has dedicated his life to serving Zimbabwe. His main desire is to improve people's livelihoods and empower the multitudes. As such he is a person who is always ready to listen to his people. We have Vision 2030, with which we have set certain targets, but with the work and dedication of President Mnangagwa we are going to reach certain targets before 2030," he said.

Among the dignitaries at the rally were were Zanu-PF national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri also Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister. Other ministers were , Dr Anxious Masuka (Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development), Winston Chitando (Mines and Mining Development), President of the Pan African Parliament Chief Fortune Charumbira, and other senior officials from Government and the ruling party.

Source - The Sunday Mail