NEWLY-APPOINTED Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Josaya Hungwe has organised an urgent stakeholders’ meeting this week to discuss the selection criteria for investors for the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam project.
The meeting comes amid reports that some stakeholders wanted government to stay out of the project, but engage an independent agent to approve investors at the $260 million dam.
Tokwe-Mukosi, which became Zimbabwe’s largest inland dam after its completion, brought with it immense investment opportunities in agriculture, tourism and fishery.
Hungwe confirmed that there were proposals to have a private agent run the project, amid fears government officials would stifle investment because of bureaucratic red-tape, corruption and disagreements among various departments.
“It is true that we are likely to meet on Friday (tomorrow) because there is a strong sentiment that government must leave the running of business at Tokwe-Mukosi to a private company. The sentiment is that with government there will be a lot of corruption and hence a lot of prejudice to the country,” he said.
The affairs of the dam, which was commissioned by former President Robert Mugabe in May this year, were currently being run by an inter-ministerial taskforce.
“There will be a lot of corruption as long as government remains involved in the running of the affairs of Tokwe-Mukosi. Each director from the line ministries will bring his or her own people,” Hungwe said.
“So this is the idea that an independent agency which has no relatives can allocate fisheries, land for hotels and other projects without fear or favour as it would be paid to do just that.”
It is not clear whether MBB Consultant, a South African firm contracted to come up with a masterplan, had completed its task. — Masvingo Mirror