Zimbabwe, which has assumed the chairmanship of the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) Council of Ministers has pledged to provide sound guidance in the operations of the bilateral organization to deepen synergies with Zambia in the energy sector.

The just concluded 35th ZAR Council of Ministers meeting held in Victoria Falls saw Zambia handing over the chairmanship of the board to Zimbabwe.

The ZRA, which is jointly and equally owned by the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is mandated to ensure effective use of the water and other resources of the mighty river.

New ZRA Council of Ministers Chairman, Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo assured the stakeholders of sound leadership in ensuring that ZRA effectively discharges its mandate to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in the energy sector.

“I would like to assure you that I will indeed discharge the duties to all your expectations and will remain in constant contact with my colleagues,” he said.

The meeting saw the approval of the amendments to the ZRA statutory instruments on terms and conditions of service while an $86 million budget was endorsed for the authority.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Cde Patrick Chinamasa said the bigger budget for the authority is in line with more responsibilities for the entry which include the management of the $294 million Kariba dam rehabilitation project.

“As you can see, the budget is bigger than last year and the responsibilities have also become many such as the management of the Kariba Dam rehabilitation and management of the Batoka project,” he said.

The Kariba Dam rehabilitation project is being funded by the European Union (EU), World Bank, African Development Bank and the Zambezi River Authority on behalf of the two governments.