12 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Senators Approve Kariba Expansion Protocol

SENATORS yesterday urged the Government to ensure locals benefit from foreign contractors who win tenders to do work in the country.

They said this while debating a protocol of the US$319,5 million loan facility from China Export and Import Bank for expansion of Kariba South Power Station.

Legislators approved the protocol but insisted that locals should not be bystanders when these firms come to operate in the country.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa steered the motion in the Upper House yesterday.

Legislators from across the political divide supported the loan facility.

Chief Chisunga said it was important for locals to supply some of the raw materials required, while others should be employed.

"We should also have systems in place to ensure that we are not fleeced by the kind of chief executives who have been fleecing the country," he said.

"Because of our poor electricity situation, investors had to think twice before coming here because they did not want to invest in a country where soon after switching on their engines, power goes." MDC-T senator for Manicaland, Mr Patrick Chitaka said while loan was important for addressing the power deficit, it was unviable for the country to continue borrowing money on top of an already huge debt.

Zanu-PF Senator for Masvingo, Cde Shuvai Mahofa, said there was need for proper governance structures to ensure transparency and accountability.


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