Gwayi-Shangani water project hits snag

China International Water and Electric, which was contracted by the government to construct the Gwayi–Shangani dam in Matabeleland North, will not meet the 2015 completion deadline due to a shortage of funds for the project.

Officials at the company told The Zimbabwean during a recent tour of the project that government had not paid the contractor for work done so far. The Chinese company moved on to the site in January.

“We are owned a lot of money by your government in outstanding payments. According to our contract we are supposed to complete the dam in 2015, but we can only meet the deadline if money for the projects is availed to us in time,” said an official who refused to be named. Donald Khumalo , the chairman of the advisory committee on the Matabeleland Zambezi Water project, praised the contractor for being patient with the government despite not being paid. “Quite a lot of activity is happening here, considering the fact that these people are owed money. We did not have confidence in our contractors before, but now they have proved that they know what they are doing,” said Khumalo.

Gwayi-Shangani Dam is the first phase of the MZWP. The second phase of the project will involve the connection of the dam to a Bulawayo pipeline while the final phase will be the connection of the Zambezi river pipeline.

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