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Court case puts Luapula Hydro Project on hold

Court case puts Luapula Hydro Project on hold

By OLIVER SAMBOKO

GOVERNMENT will wait until all judicial processes involving Luapula Hydro project are concluded before deciding the way forward on the ambitious $560 million power project, says Energy Minister Peter Kapala. 

Recently, chiefs in Luapula Province called on the new dawn government to expedite the process of setting up the Luapula Hydro project on the Kalungwishi River which has delayed for over 12 years. 

Chief Chisunka and Chief Mabumba of the Ushi people of Mansa lamented that they have been appealing to the government for the past 12 years, to allow the project to go ahead but that to date, nothing positive has come out of their effort. 

The power station is earmarked for construction at the boundary of Mporokoso and Nchelenge on the upstream of the Kundabwika Falls on the Kalungwishi River.

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Mr Kapala said the government was aware of the delay to actualise the project but that at the moment it will wait for the case to be concluded in court. 

He said for now, Government’s hands are tied because the matter is in court, while the other matter for another power project that he did not name is under arbitration. 

Meanwhile, an energy expert, Mr Victor Hazemba has backed calls by the chiefs for Government to expedite the process setting up a power generation station on the Kalungwishi River, saying the hydro scheme will assist the country increase its power capacity. 

Mr Hazemba said Zambia has in recent years sought to increase power output to 2, 600 mw from the current 2, 317 mw, and therefore the government should ensure that all pending power projects are put in motion.

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