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Nkomo optimistic of Chinese support

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Water Resources minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo yesterday expressed optimism that the Chinese deal to construct the multi-million dollar Gwaai-Shangani dam will succeed.

Sipepa Nkomo, who is part of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirais delegation to China, said he will shed more light on the project on his return on Friday.

Yes, we will soon be starting on the project.
I am in China right now. I am with the Prime Minister (Tsvangirai), here in China where we have been invited over that (Gwaai-Shangani Dam) and other projects, he said yesterday.

Last year, Sipepa Nkomo told the media that the construction of the dam seen as a critical component of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP), would resume as soon as sticking issues around it were resolved.

The minister said the government could not immediately inherit the projects contractors from Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa-led Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust, because the State Procurement Board needs to scrutinise the takeover deal.

Construction of the dam is the first phase of the MZWP project to bring water from the Zambezi River.

Government approved the project in 1997 after a feasibility study.

Preliminary work for the long-awaited project, which involves a 70-metre dam wall at the confluence of the Gwayi and Shangani rivers, has already started.

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