Victims of Hwange expansion project get new homes

Energy minister Zhemu Soda (in blue suit) hands over keys to one of the beneficiaries Geogina Sibanda (75), while Chief Deli (in black hat) and government officials look on

GOVERNMENT has handed over another batch of 26 houses to Umguza villagers who were relocated to pave way for the construction of a high voltage transmission line to cater for the Hwange 7 and 8 generation units, bringing the total number of beneficiary families to 38.

Energy and Power Development minister Zhemu Soda yesterday handed over the newly-built houses to the beneficiaries at Hope Fountain, under Umguza in Matabeleland North province.

The Hwange Unit 7 and 8 expansion project is expected to inject an additional 600MW to the national grid, as government moves to curb the power shortages besetting the country.

“As we speak, ZPC (Zimbabwe Power Company) is seized with commissioning works to ensure that the intended benefits are fully realised. I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa for his intervention and engaging his Chinese counterpart (Xi Jinping) in securing a US$1,5 billion loan for this expansion project. At least 72 households had to be relocated to pave way for the construction of the new 310kw high voltage transmission line intended to transmit the power generated by the two new units to Insukamini,’’ Soda said.

“I am pleased to note that today, we have 26 families who will become new owners of state-of- the-art homesteads built under the Hwange 7 and 8 expansion project. This brings to 38 the total number of houses handed over to the project affected persons, following the initial hand over of 12 homesteads at Epping Forest in February 2022.”

Chief Deli commended government for honouring its pledge to provide decent accommodation to the affected families.

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