By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA –
ZIMBABWE still owes Zambia US$114 million in interest accrued in connection with the defunct Central Africa Power Cooperation (CAPCO)
which was jointly owned.
Recently, the Government of Zimbabwe cleared the principal debt amounting to US$70 million owed to Zambia.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma said that Zimbabwe still owed Zambia US$114 million as interest accrued from the sale of the CAPCO.
“We jointly owned CAPCO and we told them that before we can negotiate for Batoka hydropower we had put it forward to Zimbabwe that we will only go in if the outstanding debt was cleared with regard to our revenue from the sale of CAPCO,” Mr Yaluma said.
He said this in Siavonga when Members of Parliament from the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour and all the chairpersons from the select committees toured some power plants in the area.
He said that Zimbabwe had cleared the principal debt of US$70 million but that Government was still owed US$114 million in accrued interest.
Mr Yaluma said the Finance Ministers from the two neighbouring countries were currently negotiating how to settle the interest accrued from the sale of CAPCO.
“What we want now is for Zimbabwe to come up with the settlement plan on how to pay the interest accrued, on the issue of power we shall share 800
megawatts (MW),” he said.
The settlement of the debt will pave way for Zambia and Zimbabwe to co-operate in constructing the 1,650MW Batoka hydropower station.
He said the Government had provided US$6 million for the feasibility study for the construction of the Batoka hydropower stations.
The estimated cost for the 1,600 MW power projects is between US$ 2.5 billion and US$3 billion.
Batoka Gorge hydroelectric power stations would be located about 54 kilometres downstream from Victoria Falls extending across the international boundary of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
There will be an 800 MW power plant on the Zambian side and another 800 MW on the Zimbabwean side.