Fidelis Munyoro Senior Reporter
Government has floated an international tender for the construction of 19 major water infrastructure facilities, including dams and water purification structures to enhance agricultural production and meet the demands of the growing urban population.
Several investors have shown interest in funding water infrastructure in the country whose economy is heavily reliant on agriculture.
Government has anchored the revival of agriculture on irrigation and construction of dams countrywide and will go a long way in ensuring the success of such national projects as Command Agriculture.
Investment in public infrastructure is one of the key policy measures advanced by President Mnangagwa’s administration as it focuses on projects in the fields of energy, water and sanitation, housing and transport.
Under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), Government is also focusing on expediting completion of ongoing infrastructural projects with a view to contributing to the revival of the economy.
The tender was floated by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.
Government said it intended to develop water infrastructure in partnership with the private sector on the basis of Build –Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT).
According to an advert published in The Sunday Mail yesterday, the ministry said climate change and rainfall variability continued to have an impact on the country, hence the massive projects to mitigate against these impacts.
“Pursuant to this objective, potential investors in the form of individuals, partners or companies are invited to tender for the available water infrastructure projects on offer,” read the advert.
“All technical feasibility studies and determination of the project bankability shall be at the potential investor’s cost and part of the
Governments role shall be to supervise the studies for feasibility bankability including the implementation of the infrastructure.”
Government would be responsible for land acquisition and maintenance of the servitude for the water infrastructure. It would also be responsible for oversight during panning, implementation and tenure of the concession until handover of the project.
“Over and above this responsibility, the Government shall facilitate the repatriation of investor proceeds during the tenure of the concession to whatever destination and wherever the investor wants.”
Government would also do what is necessary to improve the costs of the BOOT arrangement.
In this case, Government would enable the concession holder to import plant and equipment on temporary import basis and duty free so that equipment and plant can be re-exported after the completion of the project and not at the end of concession.
“Rebate on company and expatriates income tax will have a reduction effect on the cost of the project,” said the ministry. “The dam servitudes which comprise all the activities that are undertaken but the National Parks will be under the concession holder in order to increase their revenue stream and hence increase project viability to the funders. This includes the land in and around the dam, development of tourism and marine activities.”
However, Government institutions namely the Zinwa, Zimparks, EMA and Ministry of Transport and infrastructural Development still remained the regulators of the projects.
The Ministry said concession holders would still maintain the payment of respective royalties to regulators that maintain the statutory requirements of the Government to ensure the safety and quality of the project.
“All the design reports that is, preliminary, feasibility, full design, geological and hydrological reports, should be lodged with the Ministry of Lands Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and Zinwa.
These will become intellectual property of the Government of Zimbabwe.”
The roles of the Government and the investor during the implementation and operation of the water infrastructure are also outlined in the project prospectus.
Details for the projects can be found in a bidding document and project prospectus to be obtained after paying a non-refundable fee of $10.
The deadline for the submission of tenders is May 3.