Senate ratifies $20m Zim, Kuwait irrigation deal

HARARE - The Senate has ratified a $20 million agreement between Zimbabwe and Kuwait to develop the Zhove Irrigation Project in Beitbridge.

Acting Finance and Economic Development minister Joseph Made tabled the loan agreement for ratification in the Senate last week. 

He said the loan agreement was entered into between government and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development relating to Kuwaiti Dinars 6 million (approximately $20 million) line of credit to support the Zhove Irrigation Project in Matabeleland South Province.

“The loan facility has a tenure of 25 years, inclusive of five-year grace period and will attract an interest rate of 1,5 percent per annum, inclusive of 0,5 percent administration charges,” Made said.

“This loan facility will support the production of citrus fruits in particular, as well as other cash and food crops such as maize, sugar beans, tomatoes, ground nuts and the construction of a conveyance system to supply adequate and sustainable water from Zhove Dam to irrigate about 2 500 hectares of agricultural land.

“The project is expected to benefit more than 5 000 households from the following

communities and resettlement areas along the Mzingwane River in Beitbridge District, which include Ferguson Ranch, Bishopstone Ranch, Cawood Ranch, Matetengwe Communal lands, Mabidi communal lands and Malala communal lands.”

Government, represented by Patrick Chinamasa, the Finance and Economic Development minister, and Kuwait, represented by Hamad Al-Omar, deputy director-general of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, inked the deal in March.

The agreement obtained cross-party support in the Senate and was subsequently ratified without opposition.

A draft agreement, seen by the Daily News, says the project is in line with government’s policy thrust to eradicate poverty, which resulted in the launch of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper in September last year.

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