Harare to Mutare trenching complete


Digging of trenches for the Harare-Mutare fibre optic link that will connect Zimbabwe to the undersea high-speed cable in Mozambique has been completed, a Zimbabwe Cabinet Minister has confirmed.

Information and Communication Technology minister Nelson Chamisa said work was now in progress to lay and fill the cable.

“Trenching of the fibre optic cable between Harare and Mutare has now been completed. We still hope that the cable will be launched by mid of this year if all goes according to plan,” he said. Due to logistical and administrative challenges the Government faced, Minister Chamisa said completion of the project was rescheduled twice last year.

One of these two options available to Zimbabwe is the Seacomm and Undersea cables which will link Zimbabwe from Mozambique, says Chamisa. Initially, the programme was supposed to have been completed in June and was further postponed to December.

“Due to administrative and logistical challenges on our part, we have not been able to complete the project on time resulting in the postponement of completion dates twice this year. We still hope that the project will be commissioned by mid this year as work that involves the laying of the cables is now 90 per cent complete,” he said.

“In addition, filling of the laid down cable was now 80 per cent complete and the logistical and administrative challenges that have been faced by Government in implementing this project were sorted out and this gives us hope that the project will still be commissioned before the end of the year soon.”

The Government, through the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, sub-contracted a Chinese technology company, Huwaei, to implement the project.
In April, Finance Minister Tendai Biti disbursed US$6.2mn towards the development of the Harare-Mutare fibre optic project. Minister Chamisa said plans were also in the pipeline by Government to embark on a similar project that will connect the country to the rest of the world through South Africa.

“We intend to embark on another fibre optic link that will connect Zimbabwe and the rest of the world through South Africa. This project will begin this year,” he said.
The installation of the fibre optic cable will push down the cost of service and increase communication speed and it is envisaged that the under-sea cable along east African coast would improve Zimbabwe’s Internet connectivity once the country goes online.


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