VICTORIA FALLS, May 8 (The Source) – Zimbabwe has appealed to pension funds to invest in Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, potentially the country’s largest inland dam which finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said is key to agriculture development and power generation in the southern part of the country.
The dam, which has been long in the planning as part of a strategic development to guarantee supply of water to the lowveld sugar and citrus estates, is 90 percent complete but progress has stalled since Italian contractor Salini Impregilio pulled out over non-payment last year.
“For Tokwe-Mukosi we need $30 million to finish the project before the next rains, but I am failing to raise that money,” Chinamasa told the 40th annual congress of the Zimbabwe Association of Pension Funds (ZAPF) in the resort town of Victoria Falls on Thursday.
“I want the money, it’s very little money but I am failing to get it.”
He appealed to pension funds to invest in the dam and other hydro projects saying that would give them guaranteed cash flows.
“If we invest in the dam we can sell water to sugar companies so there is cash flow in that investment. We can even sell hydroelectricity which also generates cash,” the minister added.
In November last year, the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) said it would issue a $50 million bond to fund the dam’s completion.
The dam was initially scheduled to be completed in June this year before the contractor suspended work over Government’s failure to settle an $84 million debt.
At completion, the dam could irrigate up to 25,000 hectares of sugar cane in the lowveld, with citrus plantations and power generation also planned.