Matshela Koko, the former head of South Africa’s power utility giant Eskom, has dismissed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ‘Zimbabwe-Is-Open-For-Business’ mantra as cheap talk, saying Harare must talk less and deliver more.
Koko, whose company Matshela Energy was given a licence to construct a 100 megawatt solar power plant in Gwanda, bemoaned the agonising pace the commencement of construction work for the envisaged power plant has taken.
He had initially planned to hold the groundbreaking ceremony this August, but has been kept waiting by the authorities.
“Matshela Energy remains committed to the Gwanda project. We have followed every single process imposed on us. We remain hopeful. It’s easy to say Zimbabwe is open for business. Practically, it is extremely challenging,” Koko said, in comments posted on his official Twitter handle.
He was reacting to reports that the financially struggling Mnangagwa adminstration has come up with a 10-year plan to enhance power production through solar power stations.
He added:
“My advice is that we talk less and deliver more. There is too much talk and less progress. The people of Zimbabwe want to see yellow machines breaking ground. Investors are there. They are not asking for government money. But they are still not breaking ground. Why?”
The South African business magnate who is on record alleging that attempts have been made to extort money from him, said ‘we are ready to bring the yellow machines to break ground.’
“We are not asking for ZESA or government money. We sincerely hope there will be traction soonest. When you have regulations and policies in place and investors follow them without fail, the outcome should be predictable. Our experience tells that’s not the case. Regulatory and policy certainty is a real problem (in Zimbabwe),” he said.
The state projects an additional 100 megawatts to the national grid, from the Gwanda solar power plant when complete. The plant will also have a 40 MWh energy storage facility.

Additional Reporting: Zwnews