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Government will this week dispatch a team led by Environment, Water and Climate Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, to meet with the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam contractor officials in Italy and negotiate payment plans for the outstanding $84 million.

Construction at the dam was suspended last December after the Italian contractor, Salini Impregilio, downed tools demanding settlement of part of the debt.

Negotiations between Minister Kasukuwere and Salini Impregilio officials are expected to culminate in the two parties agreeing to a payment model that will enable the contractor to resume work.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Tuesday, confirmed that Minister Kasukuwere was going to meet Salini Impregilio officials in Rome.

“We are dispatching Minister Kasukuwere to Italy this week for negotiations with Salini Impregilio senior officials over arrears that the Government of Zimbabwe owes the Italian firm because we want Tokwe-Mukosi Dam to be completed yesterday,” he said.

“It is our hope that the negotiations with the Italians will result in a breakthrough that will see construction of the dam resuming. We want our people to start benefiting from this dam (Tokwe-Mukosi) through irrigation,” he added.

Minister Chinamasa said Zimbabwe’s future was bright adding that focus should now be on making sure the requisite water conveyance system was in place to draw irrigation water from Tokwe-Mukosi Dam.

Minister Kasukuwere said Government was going to explore all avenues to make sure the dam was completed by the end of June this year.

He said plans were already at an aanced stage to equip Zinwa to enable it to construct most of the outstanding major dam projects in the country.

Minister Kasukuwere added that Government was considering procuring dam construction equipment for Zinwa from countries such as Russia and India.

Source : The Herald