The project is being spearheaded by the Energy Ministry under minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and managed by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company.
ZETDC will also wholly fund the installation of solar street lights in nine of the selected 15 local authorities. 1,559 street lights will be installed to cover 46,632 kilometers of streets.
The project seeks to power main roads situated in the Central Business District of the selected councils. Investigations by The Zimbabwean have revealed that some of the local authorities are unaware of the project, some have already received the funds and others are worried about ongoing delays.
Masvingo town clerk Adolf Gusha professed ignorance over the project . “I’m not sure of the project that you are referring to. I will have to check first,” he said, despite being a beneficiary. Bindura town clerk Shangwa Mavesera said he received the letters but not the funds. “We have received a letter to that effect, but we haven’t received the funds,” he said.
Mutare town clerk Obert Muzawazi also confirmed receiving the letter but expressed concerns over the delay of the funding. “The letter is here and we are waiting for the implementation process. The project is very noble and we are appealing to government to expedite this initiative. Usually, there are challenges with funding of government projects and I hope there are no such problems to this one,” he said.
Rusape town secretary Joshua Maligwa said they had received 14 of the expected 40 street lights from the Energy Ministry and had already started installing them in areas such as Vhengere and Crocodile.
Rusape and Bindura have been allocated $53,200 and 40 solar lights each while Mutare has $425,600 and 320 lights. Masvingo is expected to receive 200 solar street lights at a cost of $266,000.
Masvingo, Chinhoyi, Kadoma, Marondera, Gwanda, Chiredzi, Beitbridge and Hwange are the other beneficiaries. Some of the LED bulbs were said to have been secured from India and China raising concerns about whether the tender procedures had been respected.
Though official communication was made in March through the Ministry of Local Government, most city fathers have no idea when the project is expected to kick-off. Mavhaire became emotional and evasive when reached for comment to clarify the nature of the project and how it is being run.
“You should ask about our energy policy, not this. In all projects we first engage and consult our partners. And we always strive to explain how the energy policy works in all energy related projects,” he said.
Quizzed on how the project could be in its consultation phases when some local authorities have already embarked on the implementation exercise while others have not, Mavhaire became emotional. “Then go and get the information you want from the local authorities,” he said before hanging up.
Bindura $53,200Post published in: News