The Chinese military holds a welcoming ceremony for Constantine Chiwenga (file photo).
By Farirai Machivenyika
Zimbabwe and China are finalising modalities to commence construction of three major infrastructure development projects, as the two countries pledge to further strengthen their bilateral relations.
Some of the projects that are set for take-off include construction of the new Parliament Building and the expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport and Hwange Thermal Power Station. This was revealed by Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping, when he paid a courtesy call on Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
“Kariba, as you know has one generator now working, providing 150MW to the national grid,” he said.
“Another generator is going to be working, maybe before April and we are now working on how we can find a quicker way of constructing Harare International Airport (now Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport) and Hwange (Thermal Power Station) and for the Parliament, we are now doing the tendering and I think very soon we would be able to select a company to do the construction.
“There are other projects we are talking about, but also important is that we are preparing for His Excellency President Mnangagwa’s visit to China.”
China has agreed to provide over $1 billion for the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station that will add 600MW to the national grid, while the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport will be expanded through a $150 million loan. The new Parliament Building will be constructed from a $46 million loan provided by the Chinese.
Ambassador Huang congratulated VP Chiwenga on his appointment and pledged to work with the new Government in the new dispensation.
“I came to congratulate the honourable Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe upon being appointed Vice President,” he said.
“We also shared ideas on the good relationships, which date back to the liberation struggle and we also shared ideas on how China and Zimbabwe can continue to work to make this relationship grow in this new era. As you know, China is now into a new era after the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress and Zimbabwe is now also in the new era, so we now need to work together to bring the good relations between China and Zimbabwe into the new era by expanding our cooperation in all sectors and bring tangible benefits to our two countries.”
Ambassador Huang said preparations for President Mnangagwa’s visit to China were ongoing, although the dates were yet to be finalised.