Harare – Zimbabwe authorities are sleeping on a US$2 billion investment opportunity at Tokwe Mukosi, ENN reports. Addressing delegates at a sugar conference in Harare recently, Zimbabwe Sugar Association chairman Muchadei Masunda said Government’s continued delays in providing a masterplan on Tokwe Mukosi Dam has stifled potential investments of US$2 billion around the dam. Previously, Chivi rural district council and Masvingo rural district council were pivotal in the generation of the dam’s masterplan until the responsibility was shifted to Great Zimbabwe University and Midlands State University for technical purposes, it is alleged. At present, sugar manufacturer Tongaat Hulett is the only major beneficiary of Tokwe Mukosi dam as it annually extracts 5% of the dam’s water capacity for irrigation purposes.
Tokwe Mukosi Dam is located at the convergence of Tokwe and Mukosi rivers. The dam spans into Chivi and Masvingo South districts in Masvingo Province. It is the highest and the largest inland water body in Zimbabwe, with a height of 89,2m and storage of 1,8 billion cubic metres of water. Situated 75 kilometres south of Masvingo, Tokwe Mukosi Dam has huge potential for commercial irrigation and hydro-power generation, both important enablers for Zimbabwe’s economic renaissance.
According to government estimates, Tokwe Mukosi has capacity to support an estimated 25 000 hectares of irrigated land, with the resulting benefits of employment creation and enhanced agricultural production. The Tokwe Mukosi dam wall has potential of generating 15 megawatts of power using the peak power facility concept.
Muchadei Masunda implored on the government to prioritise the implementation of the Tokwe Mukosi Dam masterplan to unlock at least 12,000 jobs and an additional 1.7 million metric tonnes of sugar, in the process generating electricity, ethanol and molasses for national energy and stock-feed purposes.
Zimbabwe government has a reputation of deserting strategic projects, as construction of Tokwe Mukosi dam, which began in 1998, was only completed by Italian contractors Salini Impregilio in December 2016 mainly due to funding challenges. The flooding of February 2014 which caused partial collapse of the Tokwe Mukosi dam also contributed to the dam’s late completion as construction costs shot up.