Russia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique apparently want to partner and build a second fuel pipeline into the country for the total cost of $1.5 billion. It’s a pipeline Zimbabwe doesn’t need and will simply see the country slide further into debt.

Russians hinted their interest in funding the second pipeline at last year’s summit in Sochi city as a government to government transaction for the southern region at a very nominal rate.

If there is a second pipeline to be built then it is this one by the Russians because this is what the four Governments prefer than having it as a one nation project considering that 40 per cent of the current pipeline is underutilised.

Negotiations are now at an advanced stage and a team from the Russian government will be in the country next month.

The current pipeline can be upgraded up to 240 million litres monthly which can be expanded to 320 million litres hence continuous engagement at Presidential level to have volumes of scale.

Government source familiar with the deal

It is rather bizarre that the government is looking to build a new pipeline when the existing pipeline can be further utilised to meet the local needs. Upgrades on the existing pipeline, which are much much cheaper, will increase capacity to more than what Zimbabwe needs in the short to medium term.