JUST IN: Council of Ministers’ meeting underway

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Walter Nyamukondiwa

Kariba Bureau

THE extraordinary Council of Ministers virtual meeting, the supreme decision making organ of the Zambezi River Authority, which manages the Zambezi River and ancillary infrastructure on behalf of Zimbabwe and Zambia is currently underway in Lusaka.

Zimbabwe is represented by Energy and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda who has taken over the rotational chairmanship post. Attorney-General Prince Machaya is also attending the meeting.

The meeting is expected to formally adopt the Authority’s corporate strategy for the period 2020-2024 and funding for bi-national projects after a presentation by the Board of Directors.

It is also looking at the progress made on the Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme along the upper Zambezi River.

There are indications that the Authority needs a supplementary budget owing to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his opening remarks, Minister Soda expressed confidence that the meeting will come up with solutions to common socio-economic challenges in the two countries.

“With the collaboration which exists between the Contracting States, I am confident that we will together meet our governments’ expectations in tackling the socio-economic issues in our sister countries.

“I have noted that this extraordinary Council of Ministers meeting is being held as a result of the decision made at the 37th COM Meeting where ministers directed that there was need to keep abreast with the critical success areas to do with the development of the Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Scheme project in terms of giving policy guidance and direction,” he said.