Matebeleland Zambezi Water Trust chairperson, Dumiso Dabengwa has accused former Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu, of sabotaging the water project.
He said Mpofu refused to grant the trust a special mining concession in the mineral rich Matebeleland North province to fund raise for the Matebeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP).
Dabengwa, who is also the Zapu leader, said the trust once approached then President Robert Mugabe seeking money to fund the Zambezi project which is touted as the panacea to the western and southern region’s perennial water shortages.
“Sometime, the MZWT approached former president Mugabe seeking funding and prioritisation of the water project. Mugabe indicated that the government did not have money for the project but advised us to start a special coal or methane gas concession in Matebeleland North to generate revenue for the project.
Mugabe actually said the region has got enough resources to fully fund the project without any external or government assistance,” said Dabengwa.
The Zapu leader said Mugabe then referred them to Mpofu who was then the Mines minister to grant the special concession to the trust but Mpofu allegedly ignored the request.
“After Mugabe’s directive, we wrote a letter to Mpofu asking him for the special mining grant which Mugabe had acceded to. However, Mpofu never responded to our request up to this very day,” said Dabengwa.
MZWP was first mooted in 1912 but more than 100 years later, the project is yet to take off.
Construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam is usually resuscitated just before an election, before dying down almost immediately after the vote.
An estimated $53 million is required to complete the project.