Speaking after a meeting of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and GE officials led by Farid Fezoua in Maputo where Mnangagwa was attending the US-Africa business summit, Ncube said GE was not only interested in power generation but in supplying medical equipment as well.
“As you know, General Electric is a massive global company; US-based, and we have discussed different things. First of all, it was their involvement in infrastructure investment as an equipment supplier — technology supplier — this is around Hwange (Units) 1 and 4, but also around their involvement with Batoka Gorge,” Ncube told the Herald.
“But also we talked about their involvement in the health sector; as you know they are a big supplier and manufacture for medical equipment globally, so they care about that sector. We would like our hospitals to be upgraded, at least the key hospitals of Parirenyatwa, Mpilo and other hospitals – at least those are the two big ones – but we would like four to five hospitals to be upgraded, so that was the nature of the discussions”.
GE is one of the three companies that have tendered for the construction of the US$5 billion Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme which will be jointly owned by Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is partnered by Power Construction Corporation of China.
GE is ranked the 389th largest company in the world according to the Forbes 2019 rankings.
Ncube said, they also discussed gas exploitation as Zimbabwe has huge reserves of methane gas that remain unexploited.
“We discussed the gas sector because they have a strong oil and gas division. We discussed about whether they could be involved in the exploration of gas in Zimbabwe as well. We have got methane gas deposits in the western parts of the country,” he said.
“So it was quite wide-ranging and they seemed to be welcoming every proposal that we put to them, and we will continue to explore the relationship with them, but they are very serious about being active in Zimbabwe.”
Pro-sanctions individuals and groups had warned US citizens that they were barred from engaging with Zimbabweans on the United States sanctions list during the Maputo summit.
Zimbabwe has been under United States sanctions since 2003.
During the summit Mnangagwa also held talks with US assistant secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy.