Koreans express interest in Tokwe-Mukorsi project

HARARE - Koreans have expressed interest in investing in lodges at Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam following its commissioning a fortnight ago, the Daily News has learnt.

Commissioned a fortnight ago by President Robert Mugabe, and built at an estimated cost of $300 million, Tokwe-Mukorsi is now Zimbabwe’s largest in-land dam, with a capacity of 1,8 billion cubic metres of water.

Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa told the Daily News in an interview that a Korean firm had approached government with plans to build lodges on one of the dam’s islands.

“...there is speculation that it is along the lines of building lodges at the dam. For now, the province is not yet handling anything as they are being deemed as national projects,” Mahofa said, adding “I am not too sure about the details of what they want to do”.

She, however, did not disclose if the firm is South or North Korean.

Mahofa said rural district councils had also presented project ideas on utilising the dam for development purposes in their areas.

“Even those with plots close to the dam will also benefit,” Mahofa said.

Construction of the dam began in June 1998, but stalled in 2008.

Salini Impregilo began to finish the dam in 2011. But heavy flooding in February 2014 caused a partial failure on the downstream face of the dam.

By late February, the dam had not been fully breached but the unplanned rising reservoir behind it caused evacuations upstream.

Both upstream and downstream, over 20 000 people were evacuated.

In May 2016, government released $35 million to Salini Impregilio to enable the Italian contractor to resume construction work.

Government is now moving to set up a hydroelectric power station expected to generate 12 megawatts.

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