THE much-awaited Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project pipeline saga took another twist when a team of Malaysian investors who were expected in the country last month to sign a
US$600 million joint venture agreement failed to turn up.
The Malaysian investors were expected in Bulawayo in mid-September but failed to turn up for the signing of the agreement that would have seen the water project taking off the ground.
Under the proposed agreement, the Malaysians should hold an 80% stake in the project while the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust (MZWT) will have 20% equity.
MZWT chairman Dumiso Dabengwa, when contacted for a comment this week, confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent the non-arrival of the Malaysians but said it was only a postponement.
“The Malaysians postponed the signing of the deal to a later date. They will let us know when they are ready to travel to Zimbabwe for the signing,” Dabengwa said.
Asked about the large stake to be held by the Malaysians, Dabengwa said the arrangement was for security reasons.
“The whole project will be carried out through a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement and we will have full ownership of the pipeline after we have paid the Malaysians the full cost. Once we have paid the debt, we will retain the 100% stake,” Dabengwa said.