By- President Emerson Mnangagwa Wednesday met Zambian Hakainde Hichilema in DRC during the 42nd SADC meeting and persuaded him to help revive the Batoka Gorge hydropower station.
The power generation project is a 2.4GW run-of-the-river hydroelectric project on the Zambezi River, with the output shared by Zimbabwe and Zambia.
“We took this opportunity that we are both here in Kinshasa and we are neighbours. We decided to have a chat to share on issues of interest between Zimbabwe and Zambia, in particular, you all know about the Batoka Gorge which is a joint project between Zambia and Zimbabwe, so we were discussing how to move forward,” said Mnangagwa.
On his part, Mr Hichilema said the two sister republics will continue pursuing policies that resonate with their people.
“As His Excellency said we had a good catch-up meeting and discussed issues around the Batoka Gorge hydro power project which has been on and off, we would like to revive it, it is green energy,” he said.
Among other issues discussed was the Kazungula bridge, which is the quadripoint linking Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Zambia.
Also, as the region steps up regional integration, the railway network linking the Sadc region was also up for discussion, with the two leaders committing to modernising one of the cheapest modes of transport, which is now old in most Sadc nations and not sufficiently serving its purpose.
“I really want to thank His Excellency President Mnangagwa for taking the initiative for us to have a catch up meeting here and agree on how to move forward,” said Mr Hichilema.
In 2018, Zimbabwe and Zambia agreed to build a $4.5 billion hydroelectric scheme where the Zambezi river crosses their borders.
The project is expected to provide about a third of the two nations’ power needs.
Several companies, including the African subsidiary of General Electrics, are interested in developing the potential game-changing project.