Footsteps Through Time

Footsteps Through Time
A History of Travel and Tourism to the Victoria Falls - www.zambezibookcompany.com

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Vic Falls residents feast on problem jumbo

VICTORIA Falls residents on Thursday jostled to have a piece of elephant meat after Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife (Zimparks) officials killed one of the three elephants that had been causing havoc in the resort town.
Zimparks officers battled to maintain order as more than 500 residents in Mkhosana suburb scrambled to get a glimpse of the problem elephant when it was being killed.
Some residents left without a piece of the game meat , but others went home with bags full of venison.
Elephants have been causing havoc in Victoria Falls with residents’ properties like tuck-shops, walls, taps, water meters and pipes being destroyed on a regular basis.
During a meeting held in Mkhosana on Wednesday, residents complained that Zimparks officials were not taking action against the problem animals.
“At least they are taking action now by killing this elephant,” Clement Ndlovu, one of the residents who helped National Parks officers skin the elephant, said. “We hope that it would scare other elephants away because elephants have destroyed our property.”
Another resident, Dion Matonga, said killing one elephant would not make much difference and Zimparks should have killed all three elephants that had been causing havoc in residential areas.
“Zimparks benefit even when they kill these elephants. They get the skin and tusk so they should kill these jumbos,” Matonga said.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Santonga: Tourism game changer?

Arnold Mutemi

SANTONGA Conservation and Culture Park in Victoria Falls is being touted by its promoters as a game changer for the country’s tourism sector, yet opponents say the proposed $18 million project is one investment the country can do without. In a country hungry for investment and new jobs, the Santonga project should have been embraced by all, but this is not the case.

Named by joining San and Tonga, after the original inhabitants of the area, the project in the heart of pristine wildlife land in Victoria Falls will create more than 150 direct jobs with hundreds more downstream when fully operational.

An 80-acre piece of land adjacent to the Zambezi National Park will be fenced off to create space where the history of the falls’ area, going back to billions of years ago will be told.

Its promoters say they can think of no project of a similar nature nor magnitude in Africa.

While tourists visit the Victoria Falls primarily to enjoy the magnificent water curtain spectacle called Mosi-oa-Tunya — the Smoke that Thunders — cascade 108 metres down rocks formed millions of years ago and magnificent game including the Big Five roaming freely in the area, Santonga will tell a story about the Victoria Falls and surrounding area that very few know.

Cultural villages to highlight people’s way of life over the centuries will be built on a ridge at the site. Visitors will be taken through four billion years of time right up to the colonial period.

Guests will also be taken to four different walks through villages including the Tonga, Nambya, Lozi and Ndebele, which will showcase each of their rich history, customs, culture, tribal dress and architecture.

Academics, including professors of archaeology and history, have been engaged to compile content for the project.

But despite the seemingly positive benefits Santonga will bring to the area and economy, it has been met with widespread opposition, especially from other players in the tourism sector.

To its detractors, Santonga is a zoo and they ask who needs a zoo in the heart of the African jungle where four of the Big Five —lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo — roam in a natural environment.
Only the black rhino is not available as it was moved to safer sanctuaries after an onslaught from poachers.

Zoos, the detractors believe, should be for countries which have decimated their own wildlife heritage.

Tourists coming to Zimbabwe should be allowed to enjoy its wildlife in the natural habitat, not confined in artificial boundaries or enclosures.

A player in the tourism industry opposed to Santonga said it was unacceptable to keep animals in enclosures in Victoria Falls where tourists would come and gawk at them.

Ben Tesa, general manager of Khanondo Safaris and Tours, said allowing the Santonga project to go ahead would place the country’s tourism sector under threat. He sees the project as a zoo, which is unnecessary in Victoria Falls with its teeming wildlife.

“It’s a zoo, the concept is a theme park. We don’t want such a development in Zimbabwe because it destroys tourism. Instead of going to see wildlife in the wild, tourists will end up seeing caged elephants. That’s done in India,” said Tesa.

He said businesses operating game drives and safaris will be the worst affected as their clients would no longer go for these activities, preferring to spend all their time at Santonga.
Chairman of Africa Albida, which is developing the project, Dave Glynn, dismissed assertions that Santonga was a zoo.

He said detractors were calling Santonga a zoo just to discredit it.

“The accusation that Santonga is a zoo neatly chooses to ignore that 90 percent of what Santonga represents is to do with the rich history and culture of the area. The zoo accusation is a deliberate red herring perpetrated by our detractors.”

According to the Cambridge online dictionary, a zoo is an area in which animals, especially wild animals, are kept so that people can go and look at them or study them.

The online encyclopedia, Wikipedia defines a zoo as a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred.

Tesa said although the animals might not be kept in cages as in some zoos, Santonga was for all intents and purposes a zoo.

“It might not be a proper zoo, but has the elements of one. We’ve conventional buses and kombis, but a kombi can also be called a bus,” he said.

Tesa said the project was located near two major animal corridors and might affect the movement of game.

There are also concerns that Victoria Falls is already overdeveloped and new infrastructural developments should be undertaken outside the current town limits for the area to maintain its naturalness and retain its status as a World Heritage Site.

Glynn said Santonga would not be the first project to confine animals within enclosures in Victoria Falls.

There are already companies which offer elephant rides and walks with lions to tourists.

“If you stand on the hill of Santonga, to the west and adjacent to it is a crocodile farm with many thousands of captive crocodiles. Next door to that is an elephant interaction site with captive elephants. Next to that is a chicken farm.

“To the east of Santonga is the Elephant Hills golf course with multiple fenced in animals. Several other fenced areas exist containing animals, therefore, technically, Victoria Falls already consists of multiple zoo sites,” said Glynn.

He said the project would bring immense economic benefits to the holiday resort with up to 1,500 downstream jobs created using the United Nations World Tourism Organisation multiplier effect of 10 downstream jobs for every one direct job created.

More than 120,000 tourists are anticipated to visit the site annually with most expected to spend an extra day in the resort town, resulting in massive cash inflows for local businesses, especially hotels which will have improved room occupancies.

An extra night in Victoria Falls translates to a 33 percent increase in hotel accommodation revenues.
Glynn thinks that opposition to the project is driven more by commercial interests than genuine environmental concerns.

A company operating helicopter flights over the Victoria Falls using land near the project site is expected to relocate once Santonga is open to the public.

“The main perpetrators of the negative publicity have a direct commercial conflict of interest with the project.

“At the time of our approval for Santonga, we were informed that the helipad at Elephant Hills was to be moved to the Chamabonda Vlei, outside of town, which is the officially designated site.

“From that time we’ve had continual assurances from both council and the Physical Planning Department that that site isn’t designated for helicopters and that they’ll be moving to Chamabonda Vlei.

“We continue to be given these assurances, and have continued to proceed with Santonga on the understanding that will happen,” he said.

Victoria Falls mayor Sifiso Mpofu who said council is keen to see investment in the town, also said business rivalry was the main factor driving opposition to the project.

Mpofu said the project had potential to benefit the resort town as tourists would stay for extra days.
“Personally, I support the project. As council we’re there to promote investment,” he said.

But Mpofu said council had not yet made a final decision on the Santonga project and residents would be invited to give input when the time comes.

Zambezi Helicopter Company public relations manager Clement Mukwasi said they were opposed to the Santonga project as a matter of principle and not because of threats of the closure of the helipad where they were operating from.

“Santonga as a business can’t shut down other businesses. It doesn’t have such capacity. It can only stop new businesses that controvert it from being born. I can’t see the reason why the government may close an existing business that pays more than a million (dollars) every year into various State coffers in favour of a myth called Santonga,” said Mukwasi.

The local chapter of the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) is taking a neutral approach to the project.

HAZ chapter chairperson Trythings Mutyandasvika said they did not have an official position on the project.

He said the matter could be best resolved at a higher political level.

“My office is too junior to comment when the issue is being discussed at a higher level. The issue is best dealt with by our leaders as opposed to us operators,” said Mutyandasvika.

Source: Santonga: Tourism game changer? (23/7/15)

Friday, 17 July 2015

Victoria Falls bush sex murder

A FORM 4 pupil picnicking with her boyfriend at dusk close to the Victoria Falls Rain Forest was killed in a senseless attack and her body dumped in a river.

Her boyfriend, 21, an Upper Sixth pupil at Mosi-oa-Tunya High School, was badly beaten, stripped and dumped in the woods with his hands tied behind his back.

Superintendent Dominic Sibanda of Victoria Falls Police told The Chronicle last night that police had launched a murder investigation.

Praise Mpofu of Mkhosana suburb and her boyfriend, Brain Dube, of Chinotimba suburb, in the tourist resort were enjoying a sunset sex romp in an area known as Big Tree on the banks of the Zambezi River when they were approached by two men, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Praise's uncle, Cornelius Mpofu, said the men accused the two lovers of being in a "prohibited area" before separating the duo.

Mpofu said his niece left home on Wednesday morning for school and later hooked up with her boyfriend, who attends the same school.

"I'm told that when the two were having fun somewhere near the Big Tree, they were approached by two men who accused them of being in a prohibited area. I understand that they attacked the boy first who was then dragged towards the river by one of the assailants while the other man remained with my niece," Mpofu said.

"We were called by the police after they found the boy but they could not locate my niece. We went to conduct a search but stopped at around midnight and resumed this morning (yesterday) only to find her body floating in the river."

Taurai Mpala, 35, a member of the neighbourhood watch committee, said he was operating in the area when he was approached by a local tour operator who had seen Dube completely undressed near the VIP entry gate to the Rain Forest on Wednesday evening. He assumed he had a mental problem.

"I dashed to the scene of the incident and found the young man undressed with his hands tied to the back. He was in a state of extreme shock. We wrapped him with a plastic sheet round the waist to cover him," he said.

He was rushed to Victoria Falls Hospital.

Brain's father, Edgar Dube, said: "I can't tell his condition at the moment as I'm still waiting for the doctors to brief me. I hope that in this time of grief, our two families will work together. It's also our hope that the police will do their best to bring the culprits to book."

Superintendent Sibanda said an intense police operation was underway to locate and apprehend the assailants. 

Source: Victoria Falls bush sex murder (17/07/15)
More: Vic Falls Murder: Cops pick used condoms from scene (18/07/15)
  Victoria Falls grisly murder: Two suspects arrested (18/7/15)
Update: Second Vic Falls murder suspect appears in court (28/07/15)

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Hunters investigate killing of Zim's best-known lion

A hunters' association in Zimbabwe says it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the unexpected killing of one of the country's best-known lions on a hunt last week.
There has been outrage following the news that black-maned Cecil, a much-photographed lion from the Hwange area in western Zimbabwe, was killed on a hunting safari.

Wildlife fans say Cecil was extremely relaxed around visitors and apparently a favourite with those on photographic safaris, who sometimes travelled long distances to watch him.
He had been seen in the area for the last 13 years and was often in the company of another male lion known locally as Jericho.

Circumstances surrounding Cecil's death are not yet entirely clear. There are claims he was wounded with a bow and arrow and then shot. He was reportedly wearing a collar when he was killed.

Zimbabwean hunters posting in online forums have insisted the hunt was legal.

The Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association (ZPHGA) said in its statement late Monday that the lion was killed "outside [Hwange National] park on private land on a safari".

"An investigation is ongoing at this time. We are awaiting all relevant documentation for verification," the association said, confirming that the professional hunter involved was one of its members.

A lion hunt in Zimbabwe can cost a foreign client up to $45 000, insiders say. Unconfirmed reports say that the client on this hunt was from Spain.

News of Cecil's death has reignited the testy war of words between trophy hunters and those who are strongly opposed to hunting.

One reader posted to Safari Guide Africa's Facebook page: "Heartbroken. Cecil was beautiful and majestic a true King. He will be sorely missed."

The ZPHGA said: "We do not know all the facts yet."

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Taxi drivers riot in Livingstone over the hike in fuel prices

Police moved in to quell riots that broke out in Livingstone Wednesday morning.Police rounded up 54 taxi drivers and other vendors who were protesting.


(Image credit Lusaka Times)

The riots which were concentrated in the city centre saw irate drivers fight running battles with armed police officers.The drivers were protesting over the recent hike in fuel pump prices by the Energy Regulation Board.

One protesting taxi driver, said fuel was very expensive and RTSA and ZRA fees had also gone up which made life unbearable.He said police officers were also making the life of taxi drivers difficult by impounding them and hence they resolved to protest.Another taxi driver interviewed said the hiked RTSA and ZRA fees were promoting traffic police officers to be corrupt and taxi drivers could not to raise the fees which were being asked for.

One protesting taxi driver, said fuel was very expensive and RTSA and ZRA fees had also gone up which made life unbearable.He said police officers were also making the life of taxi drivers

He asked Government to find a way of easing the life of taxi drivers as the situation was not good for them. Mr. Ngambi, a taxi driver, explained that road tax which was at K96 was currently at K150 while the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) charges had increased to K450 from the previous K300 with the road service license standing at K470 from K313.

Mr Ngambi said despite having challenges for them to make a daily cashing with the increased fuel prices, there was also a shortage of fuel in the tourist capital.He said it was unfair for the Government to keep quiet when prices for commodities and services were being increased almost at the same time,making the cost of living unbearable for most Zambians.

He said all the taxi drivers were demanding for was an immediate reduction especially on the taxes, saying it was becoming impossible for them to reach their daily cashing target there by making it difficult to provide for their families.

“We have families to take care of, now with these increased fuel prices and taxes, how are we going to cash in and what will our families eat? We have rentals to pay and school fees for our children to offset. So we are asking for the government to intervene and look into our plight,” Mr Ngambi said.

The taxi drivers blocked the main roads intothe city centre with stones and logs and threw stones at police officers.Business came to a standstill in the Livingstone Central Business District as Police officers fought running battles with protesting taxi drivers. Taxi drivers, who resolved not to carry passengers,closed the main Mosi-oa-tunya Road leading to Victoria Falls with stones as well as drums and logs while burning tyres, which prompted the police to use teargases to disperse them.Taxies and other pirated vehicles, which were spotted carrying passengers, were attacked and had their vehicles stoned.

The police continued patrolling the streets and removed the drums but stones and burnt tyres were still in the streets by mid-day while other motorists had to by-pass the town centre to access other parts of Livingstone for their safety.

Livingstone District Commissioner Omar Munsanje called for calm among taxi drivers as Government had heard their complaints.

“I have met representatives of the Livingstone Taxi Drivers Association and I asked them to calm their colleagues as we address their concerns.

Some shop owners and individual persons talked to said there was need for the Government to address the issue and see how best they could strike a balance with RTSA especially on taxes.

“We feel for the taxi drivers especially that most taxes have been increased by over 100 per cent, but the best thing they can do is to dialogue with RTSA and the government,” a concerned shop owner, who opted for anonymity, said.

Efforts to reach Southern Province Commissioner of Police Mary Chikwanda proved futile as she did not pick up her mobile phone.

Police arrest drivers rioting over the hike in fuel prices and taxes in Livingstone (15/07/15)


Zimbabwe retailers lose out to desperate street vendors

Harare (AFP) - The cries of street vendors have become the soundtrack to Zimbabwe's collapsing economy as increasing numbers of the unemployed try to eke out a living, leaving shopkeepers -- and the taxman -- poorer.
Redundant workers, school leavers and college graduates have spawned a new phenomenon of "shop-front stores" in major cities, where they peddle anything from medicines to vegetables, pirated CDs and clothes -- often on the doorstep of legitimate shops selling similar items.
For 39-year-old Sherry Njere, a mother of three with an unemployed husband, street vending is a matter of survival.
"I am doing this not because it is something I decided to do in life, but it is because there are no jobs," Njere said at her self-allotted post outside a school uniform shop -- where she also sells school uniforms.
"If I don't do this and just sit at home my children will die of hunger."
Zimbabwe's economy has been on a downward spiral for more than a decade following President Robert Mugabe's land reforms, which broke the country's agricultural backbone.
Laws which require locals to hold majority stakes in all firms are also blamed for scaring off foreign investors.
Mugabe, 91, who has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980, was re-elected in 2013 on the promise of creating two million jobs, but independent economists say unemployment is running at around 80 percent.
The UN World Food Programme says 72 percent of the population live below the national poverty line of less than $1.25 per day.
Njere, whose prices mostly undercut those in the shop behind her, says that on a good day she earns $50, which she splits between ordering new stock and buying daily provisions for her family.
Shop manager Canton Matope bemoans the influx of unlicensed vendors, saying they are taking business away from the formal economy.
"They put their wares on our doorsteps and accost customers, telling them that our prices are slightly higher than their prices," he complained.
Shop owners cannot match the prices of vendors as they are burdened by taxes, rent, salaries and licence fees, he said.
- Cutting the tax base -
The director general of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Gershem Pasi, said the growing number of vendors was eroding the country's tax base.
"We are receiving complaints from formalised businesses that they are no longer able to do sufficient business to meet their tax obligations," he said.
"Most of the vendors we now have are young people and I am sure most of them would not want to be doing vending if they had an opportunity to go into formal employment," Pasi said.
"We are creating a generation which may never know what formal employment is all about and that generation is wasted investment."
Last month, hundreds of street vendors petitioned parliament after authorities threatened to move them off the streets, by force if necessary.
The protestors said they were not vendors by choice and demanded that the government create jobs for them instead.
A June 26 deadline for them to take down their stalls passed without action, and so far it has been business as usual for the vendors, who make use of any available space to display their wares and render some pavements almost impassable.
"I don't know if the authorities will be able to remove the vendors and what force they will use to remove them," Matope said.
If the government uses force to clear out the vendors, it wouldn't be the first time.
In 2005, riot police were deployed to remove informal traders and demolish backyard buildings, a move that was condemned by the United Nations.
The operation, code named "Murambatsvina" or "Drive out filth", resulted in 700,000 people losing their homes and their source of livelihood, a UN report said.
While the official threats of a new crackdown remain, Mugabe's wife, Grace, has urged police not to arrest unlicensed vendors in urban centres.
The call was interpreted as tacit approval of illegal vending and led to a fresh influx of vendors disregarding municipal zoning by-laws.
"We once had problems with shop owners, but when we were given a go ahead to sell then it wasn't a problem," said Brighton Chidehwe, 28, a former security guard who sells books and shoes.

Source: 
Zimbabwe retailers lose out to desperate street vendors (14/07/15)) 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Victoria Falls tourist arrivals up 15%

Tourist arrivals in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s prime resort, is seen surging 15% up above last year due to a stable political environment in the country, an official has said.
Clement Mukwasi, president of the Employers’ Association of Tourism and Safari Operators, told NewsDay that the tourism industry was on a recovering path.
“Things look good at the moment as we have seen a surge in tourist arrivals between June and July attributed to the South African school holidays. Last month only, we recorded a 23% growth in tourist arrivals above last year in the same period, which is a very good development,” said Mukwasi who is an executive of the Shear water Adventures group.
“Between now and December, we would be very busy because of Australian, European and Asian markets and we are projecting an annual average of 15% above last year. Numbers are also expected to swell after the completion of Victoria Falls Airport,” he added.
Mukwasi said due to political stability in Southern African countries, tourist arrivals from traditional markets such as Australia, Asia, Europe and the US had started turning to Zimbabwe.
However, Mukwasi said the industry needed to further stretch its capacities.
He said some players in the tourism industry would not recover following the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa in March last year.
“We have companies that were heavily affected by the Ebola virus out-break in West Africa and are currently overburdened by debts as there were lots of trip cancellations. As such, some of them might not be able to recover as they are insolvent,” he said.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority last year said Zimbabwe lost business worth $6 million since the outbreak of the highly contagious virus in March which has resulted in limited international travel.
The virus triggered a spate of trip cancellations, while several foreign buyers withdrew from Zimbabwe’s premier tourism expo last year.
Zimbabwe’s tourist arrivals increased by 2,6% to 1 880 028 in 2014 from 1 832 583 recorded the previous year, but the figure was still below the overall regional growth rate.
The country recorded a marginal 3% decline in total annual earnings to $827 million from $856 million in 2013.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Batoka hydro-power project feasibility study nears completion

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia and Zimbabwe will conclude a study on a planned 2,400 megawatts (MW) hydro-electric scheme between them by the end of this year, the chief executive of the company in charge of the project said on Friday.
Munyaradzi Munodawafa said Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) was updating the engineering feasibility studies and undertaking those on environmental and social impact.
"It is anticipated that these studies will be completed at the end of 2015," Munodawafa told Reuters.
"ZRA will provide an update on the market response to the project in the first half of 2016 where it will indicate the likely dates when financial close will be expected."
Ernst and Young has been engaged as the financial and legal advisors for the development of for the Batoka Hydro-Electric Project, he said.
The financial and legal transaction advisory service was critical to the development of the project as the consultant needed to analyse the different transaction structures, he said.
"The financial and legal advisors component completes the list of the vital preparatory works," Munodawafa said.
Plans for the Batoka hydro-electric power plant were expanded to 2,400 from 1,600 MW following a recent study.
The completion of the project, which will involve the construction of a dam and a hydro power plant on the Zambezi River, is expected to ease an electricity shortage in the two countries and southern Africa.

The cost, previously estimated at $2.5 billion, would be known after the feasibility study, which would be done after Ernst Young completed its work, Munodawafa said.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Zim to earn $5bn from tourism: Mzembi

ZIMBABWE is set to earn a whopping $5 billion annually when work to revamp its tourism infrastructure is completed, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Walter Mzembi has said.
He told potential investors in Johannesburg, South Africa at a recent Trade and Investment Forum that Zimbabwe had identified tourism infrastructure development as key to plans to revitalise an economy that has been on a lull for almost two decades.

He said among other infrastructural development projects the government has embarked on to revive the sector include the ongoing upgrade to the country’s major roads.

The highways that are undergoing a major revamp include the main border networks of Beitbridge border post between the country and South Africa and the Chirundu border post between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

The Beitbridge–Chirundu highway connects Zimbabwe and South Africa to countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia and Malawi, making it the busiest inland border post on the African continent.

Minister Mzembi said Zimbabwe was repositioning itself for tourism investment boom through a number of initiatives.

“We’re re-positioning a country, which is about to rise and shine. There’s no medical science in tourism. It’s about openness,” added the minister.

Minister Mzembi, who is also the African President for the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), stressed the need to have an open policy in terms of the country’s skies and borders so as to attract more tourists into Zimbabwe.

“This is part of the concept! We’re dreaming of a future in Zimbabwe through the 2015-2020 vision. This is a $5 billion tourism economy,” said Minister Mzembi.

Through the vision, the country aims to attract at least five million arrivals per year and growing the sector to contribute 15 percent gross domestic product.

Minister Mzembi said Zimbabwe was receiving two million visitors generating annual revenue of $1 billion while contributing 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

The minister, citing Biblical verses during his presentation, spoke strongly about the country’s need to adopt an “open door policy” especially the opening of borders and skies in order to increase tourism arrivals in the country.

“Day and night your gates will be open, so that the kings of the nations may bring you wealth,” he said, quoting from the book of prophet Isaiah.

“So, going forward, if you want to invest in tourism sector, you’ve to watch whether we’re opening our borders sufficiently enough, and our skies sufficiently enough,” said Minister Mzembi.

The expansion of the Victoria Falls International Airport is also envisaged to significantly improve the port’s aircraft handling capacity. It includes the expansion of the existing runway, construction of a new runway, construction of a new terminal building as well as a car park and road network.

Source: Zim to earn $5bn from tourism: Mzembi (8/7/15)

Monday, 6 July 2015

Ernst & Young engaged as Batoka Hydro advisors

The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) has engaged Ernst and Young as financial and legal transaction advisors for the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme.

ZRA chief executive officer Munyaradzi Munodawafa said through the financial and legal transaction advisory services contract, the consultant was expected to analyse the different transaction structures.

Mr Munodawafa said this in a statement issued yesterday by ZRA public relations and communications manager Elizabeth Karonga. He said this included options such as Public Private Partnerships, Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT), engineering procurement and construction.

This was with the view of recommending the most optimum and bankable structure considering the prevailing market conditions. He said priorities of stakeholders involved and the technical parameters and development schedule resulting from the updated feasibility study were also crucial aspects.

The advisory services team comprises international experts in finance and legal services while participants were drawn from the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme Project Steering Committee and the Project Management Unit appointed by the Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Mr Munodawafa commended the World Bank for financing the preparatory studies of the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme through a grant under the Co-operation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA). 

The preparatory studies consisted the updating of the engineering feasibility studies, updating of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Studies as well as the financial and legal transaction advisory services. Project steering committee co-chairperson Benson Munyaradzi, assured stakeholders and consultants that the Zambian and Zimbabwean governments were committed to making timely decisions necessary for the services to be completed as planned. He urged the consultants, Studio Pietrangeli, Environmental Resource Management (ERM) and Ernst and Young to work closely as their processes and outputs were interrelated.

He said the results were critical to effective and timely execution of the Batoka Hydro Electric Scheme.

Source: ZRA ENGAGES ERNST AND YOUNG AS LEGAL ADIVISORS (03/07/15)

More on the Batoka Hydro Power Scheme