|Zimbabwe pays Zambia US$15m|
|Friday, 27 July 2012 00:00|
George Maponga in Masvingo
The 25-year-old debt also includes proceeds of the sale of assets belonging to former Central African Power Corporation disbanded in 1987, where Zimbabwe reportedly benefited more.
Speaking during the 16th Zimbabwe/Zambia Joint Permanent Commission meeting in Masvingo on Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, said the payment of the US$15m would unlock more areas of co-operation in the energy sector between the two countries.
“As our population and industries continue to grow, so does the need for energy requirements. The energy sector is a key enabler for the economic growth in both Zimbabwe and Zambia, hence the need for more co-operation in that area.
“Zimbabwe has since paid US$15 million under the agreed payment plan,” said Minister Mumbengegwi. The debt is threatening the construction of the US$4 billion 1,600 MW Batoka hydropower project along the Zambezi River.
The massive project will alleviate power deficiencies in the two southern African neighbours.
Zambian Foreign Affairs Minister Given Lubinda emphasised the need for increased co-operation between his country and Zimbabwe in the energy sector.
He was happy that a committee to steer the implementation of the Batoka power project involving companies from his country and Zimbabwe was formed.
Minister Mumbengegwi signed the MoU on Science and Technology on behalf of Zimbabwe, while Minister Lubinda signed on behalf of Zambia.
The CAPCO was dissolved and had its assets subsequently sold in 1987 following a decision to split the utility.