BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings, on Friday handed over 12 houses to the first group of 75 Matabeleland North families who were displaced following the construction of the Hwange 7 and 8 Expansion project.
A total of 75 households, which were displaced by the project, are set to benefit from the compensatory housing project which began in 2018.
The transmission infrastructure passes through built-up areas in Bulawayo and Matabeleland province.
Handing over the houses to beneficiaries on Friday, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Richard Moyo said construction of other houses was underway, adding that some were 95% complete.
“The government has aligned itself with the World Bank performance standards to improve the lives of the displaced persons affected by the project,” Moyo said.
“The standard of living of displaced persons must be restored. In this regard, it is pleasing to note that the standards of living for affected persons in Matabeleland North improved from that prior to the displacement as shown by the structures built under the relocation plan.
“Today, as I hand over these 12 out of the 75 houses to the families who were affected by the project in Epping Forest and Sawmills, it gives me hope for the future of Zimbabwe in the global community itself,” he said.
The Hwange expansion project is set to increase the national electricity supply by 600 megawatts.
Zesa said the project was 80% complete.