World Bank snubs Zimbabwe as Moza, Malawi benefit (21-07-07)

THE World Bank has once again snubbed the economically collapsed Zimbabwe in its rescuing package under the International Development Association (IDA) credits aimed at increasing the availability and reliability of low cost electricity in the Southern African Development C

ommunity (SADC) region, a senior World Bank official told CAJ News on Friday.

According to Wendy Hughes, World Bank Senior Energy Specialist and Project Team Leader, the Bretton Woods financial institution opted for Mozambique and Malawi, whom it gave a whopping US$93 million to boost their electricity transmission interconnection network.

Hughes said from the total of US$93 million Mozambique would receive the sum of US$45 million whilst Malawi takes home a whopping US$48 million respectively.

The World Bank mantained that the US93 million would help the new project code-named “Boost Electricity Trade New Transmission Interconnection” to allow a two-way trade in affordable electricity for both countries.

The snubbing of Zimbabwe comes at a time the southern African nation is experiencing daily power outtages due to acute shortage of foreign currency and soaring debts with other regional member states such as Eskom power utility of South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique’s Cabora Bassa.

Zimbabwe has a world record inflation of above 5 000 percent with unemployment rate hovering around 80 percent as food shortages on another hand takes some centre stage.

Whilst Zimbabwe needed badly the World Bank financial assistance for distressed economy, the Brettonwoods financial institutions opted for Malawi and Mozambique which are being administered democratically instead of countries run like private properties.

Under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe of Zanu PF, Zimbabwe has been known for not respecting the rule of law, farm invasions, nationalising private companies, lawlessness and torture of its own citizens believed to be anti-Mugabe regime, a sad development that drew the international scrutiny.

The latest grant to Malawi and Mozambique were also aimed at benefitting Zimbabwe, but the World Bank board of directors saw it fit to assist Zimbabwe’s two neighbours, who are responding to people’s grievances positively while implementing good governance.

“This will ensure much-needed diversification in Malawi’s electricity supply and allow the export of any off-peak power surpluses. It will also provide Mozambique’s energy sector with a new revenue source.

“The interconnection will allow Malawi to reap the full benefits of membership of the Southern African Power Pool, both to import electricity when necessary, particularly if there is a drought and also to export any surplus electricity Malawi doesn’t use at night-time,” said Hughes.

Hughes said for Mozambique, the funds would assist in the construction of a 135 km of 220 kV transmission line and extend the existing Matambo substation whilst on the Malawi side, an approximate of 75 km of 220 kV transmission line would be constructed with a new 220 kV substation being installed- CAJ News.

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