Mavhaire is ill-qualified, clueless

via Mavhaire — ill-qualified, clueless – DailyNews Live  19 MARCH 2014

Dzikamai Mavhaire is one of the most ill-qualified ministers ever to be appointed by President Robert Mugabe to head such a crucial portfolio.

Since his appointment to the ministry of Energy and Power Development last year, there has been increased load-shedding. He has a tall order to improve the power situation which had drastically improved before he came in.

Although his ministry is critical to industry and economic recovery, Mavhaire appears clueless, raising questions as to what qualities Mugabe saw in him when he appointed him to run the Energy portfolio.

The pint-sized politician, who made headlines in the 90s when he publicly told Mugabe to resign and pave way for others, was relegated to the political dustbins and reduced to a vendor in Masvingo where he was selling fruits at Mucheke Bus Terminus with a ramshackle vehicle that often needed a push to start.

At a time the economy is receding into deflation and power woes are increasing by the day, it boggles the mind why Mugabe chose someone who was struggling with a small farm a few kilometres outside Masvingo town to lead a principal portfolio of Energy.

To his credit, the honest minister this week admitted that he has no answers to the current load-shedding woes.

“Is the nation going to have adequate power to implement programmes under the ZimAsset?

“I cannot answer this question with a resounding yes, as I will not be truthful to you. What I can say is the situation will have drastically improved by 2018,” Mavhaire told students at Zimbabwe Staff College on Monday.

If a minister who is tasked with bringing revival in the energy sector has no answer and plans to restore power supply in the country, then what are his duties?

Most households and industries in Zimbabwe are limited to less than 18 hours of electricity supply daily because of lack of investment in power generation since Independence.

Only about 30 percent of the country has access to grid electricity.

No new power generation stations have been built in the country since Kariba in the early 1960s and Hwange thermal power station, which was completed in 1986.

Despite advances in technology, power experts say a lead time of up to five years is needed to build a power station.

The current power shortage stems from a failure by  government to implement numerous power generation projects.

The famed Batoka deal is yet to materialise, while Kariba South Extension and Hwange projects are yet to take shape.

Questions have been raised about how government, through Mavhaire, will be able to increase power generation to meet increased demand by industry, when the utility is failing to meet demand while industry is operating at below 40 percent capacity.

In the region, most countries also experiencing power deficits making it more difficult for Zimbabwe to import power when the country is experiencing a liquidity crunch.

At full capacity, Kariba generates 750 megawatts and Hwange 850 megawatts, but the country needs about 2 100 megawatts. About 1 200 megawatts are being generated at the moment.

Zimbabwe’s hope for resuscitating the manufacturing sector and regaining its international competitiveness lies in it finding adequate electricity supplies, a dream we all share.

However, while holding on to our dream, we are obliged to ask government:

Does Mavhaire have the necessary skill and intellectual muscle to privatise Zesa Holdings (Zesa)?

The parastatal has been haemorrhaging for a  long time and is teetering on the brink of insolvency.

Zesa, like many other struggling state-owned enterprises such as Air Zimbabwe and NetOne, has always been grossly undercapitalised, poorly managed and surviving only because of government funding.

Worldwide, there has been a massive transfer of ownership and control over electricity assets from the public to private companies.

The companies that have taken over electricity provision in most countries are multinational companies with the financial muscle to make things work.

But when he took office, Mavhaire claimed there would not be any privatisation of the struggling parastatal any time soon.

So how do we move from the current load shedding, because Zesa has proved it does not have the capital and the will to reform on its own.

It is a fact that solving our energy problem will solve a host of other problems, and is a key to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and growth.


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51 comments on “Mavhaire is ill-qualified, clueless
  1. apolitical says:

    What an expert this journalist is, the only thing he knows how to do is to switch a light on and he poses as a critic of a minister of energy – what a waste of space.
    What was needed in enegy was some one honest not like the dishonest previous minister who connived with his girlfriend the former director to steal 10′s of millions.
    He first has to jail the thieves, next those involved in economic sabotage currently under investigation.
    Ask at the local power station they ordered it to produce 0 power and in 2007 tried to close it and to the gullible journalists they said we have no coal- they didn’t say we 500 years of coal at Sengwa we can use – much of the problem is deliberate.
    Its true we need to spend but on more turbines in Harare to make it self sufficient and stop reliance on Wankie. Same for Bulawayo and Que Que.

    • Tinomunamataishe says:

      After castigating the journalist for his/her lack of expertise I am astounded that you would go ahead and suggest the expansion of the three old thermals.

      Having worked for power utilities around the world including Zesa, I know the expansion of the three thermals is not a viable option. How for example would you expand PS2 or PS3 at Harare power station?

      The solutions for Zim power problems were mooted way back in 1985 and almost 30 years later nothing has been done. We shouldn’t be talking about this now. In the same vein the three old thermals should have been de-commissioned many years ago.

      For the record, for someone current in power engineering the journalist makes lots of sense.

      • NBS says:

        Its because apolitical know a lot about a little! We should pray for him.

        • apolitical says:

          NBS, Prayer is good for us all but none more than you – pray for yourself, you made a mistake.

          • NBS says:

            Hi apolitical. I do pray for myself. I recognise that I am a sinner in need of a saviour hence my deep belief in Jesus Christ. But when you walk with Him your eyes also become open and it seems to me that your eyes are shut with regards to our nation. I am not being sarcastic when I said we should pray for you. our whole bleeding nation is in dire need of prayer.

          • apolitical says:

            @ NBS good to hear you pray for yourself – not being selfish and perhaps a bit old fashioned I write what I know and generally pray for others that cant see or don’t have the energy to think or find out for themselves.

      • apolitical says:

        As the individual who led the team that restarted Harare thermal station, I don’t think im right I know it.
        There is ample space for 3x 30 Mwatt gen sets and boilers if the smaller ones are removed.
        If you are astounded I suggest you take an engineering degree, because ity has been evaluated by other engineers and accepted as viable.
        From your statement it is clear you have never run a power station.
        Whilst the life of a boiler is variable and can be replaced, the generators can be service and don’t really expire – bearings/seals may be replaced etc
        There isc a tendancy to go for hydro power but with 500 years supply of coal were we to supply South Africa as well only consultants in civil engineering would suggest this.
        Point I was making is that Harare and Bulawayo, Que Que SHOULD BE SELF SUFFICIENT AND NOT RELIANT ON wANKIE or Kariba.
        When we restarted Harare in 2007, it was obvious we were dealing with effective economic sabotage- there was absolutely no need to close it down and lie stating there was no coal.
        Of course we had a similar would be emergy economist in charge like the journalist and Tinomunamataishe who stated “Zimbabwe doesn’t need power stations we can import power if reserve bank gives us more funds.”
        At the time a huge project was on the table from Belgian consultants, they would install 4x power stations at Sengwa one large one providing free power to meet Zimbabwes needs the other three to export power to Eskom South Africa. The power stations were at half price from IDF coming with a 50 warranty which knocks the decommissioning theory above to touch.
        There wrre of course blocked by the Zesa CEO.- We don’t need power stations until, there is ac change in government was the reply to overseas.
        In fact and any one can ask, Harare Station currently makes a profit of 1 million a month, who in their right mind would decommission a company like that! Certainly neither engineer or businessman only a fool or someone making up stories to cover for an article without facts or reason. I repeat make sure you have expertise before you write or the facts will jump out and bite you.
        The CEO blocked the deal – he said much like the comment above I need to understand we need to close down industry there will be mass unemployment, they will be anti government and vote for us. When asked about the 300 employees at Harare and elsewhere doing nothing he said, “how will it look if they demonstrate outside our office we are a party that emerged from the unions so that’s why we are increasing tariffs to pay for them”
        Fact is we can add larger generators at Harare Power Station which should have been done some time ago for security reasons as well as manufacturing/commercial reasons.
        What I write was and is the opinion of 8 engineers who physically visited the power station and did a joint report to government.

  2. Mixed Race says:

    Let us be honest in our problems resolution,all our ministers are not performing to the required standards,otherwise the country would not be in this current economic status.
    It is easy to see the performance of those ministries which interact with the public daily than those which are not easily interacted with eg Tourism.I have started to like him because he is beginning to tell the truth about his ministry’s problems than telling us false promises.He is being let down by his misguided staff and ZESA management who make useless statements now and then.
    ZESA management should concentrate in educating the masses on how to use electricity economically so that the grid is not unnecessarily over loaded.I promise you that if we encourage the masses to use natural gas for cooking purposes we could have less load shedding. Electric stoves and geysers take about 75-80% of your daily home usage.They can also limit their allocations to their individual employees and pensioners to about 750 kilowatts instead of about 1500 kilowatts per month.This would allow them to save more energy.Now that the government has reduced everybody’s benefits,we expect ZESA to do the same with immediate effect.Let us all use gas stoves and switch on our geysers for about an hour before bathing in the evening and in the morning and limit ZESA staff allowances,the country will have enough energy for industries.We are a wasteful nation as far as electricity usage is concerned.

    • apolitical says:

      A realistic point, well done, save that it was tried before by mass advertising and failed and, at considerable cost load limit switches were fitted to each house so Zesa could switch off geysers for you. – as a matter of interest I know of no other country which was forced to do this due to public apathy and the trend to blame another for our self imposed problems.

  3. Roving Ambassador says:

    Zanu foresaw the demice of industry that’s why they did not bother increasing our generating capacity. The priority is to loot as much as possible in the shortest possible time.
    Can anyone tell me which parastal is viable and functional?

    I rest ,my case

    • apolitical says:

      The demise of energy and industry was in part sabotage because others wanted a turn in government as illustrated fairly above.
      You should also state that the current boards recently dissolved for corruption were installed by the last MDC minister.- point being blame crooks and dont let them hide behind political parties.
      Zanu or MDC have never produced power its the crooks and saboteurs in Zesa that have brought it to their knees. They were guilty of giving the rubbish a job.
      Factually, A junior engineer was caught pouring a bucket of water over a generator at Harare and it was done at other power stations too, bending shafts in the process. Which one of us believes these were accidents?

  4. Rumba says:

    The entire government is I’ll-qualified. It’s what you get when you have an unqualified electorate voting for an unqualified legislature and a lot of ballot massaging

  5. Tjingababili says:


  6. Promise says:

    We have had the awarding of contracts to 3 companies to set up Solar Farms to produce an initial 300 Megawatts. I believe there are more programs which these guys have committed to. Maybe they lost something in their communication?

    • apolitical says:

      Don’t be conned-Solar energy is advocating a flat world, it was designed for the space project and companies like the mobile solar corportation promoted them in the third world.
      Factually, we would need to cover the entire surface area of Zimbabwe tp produce sufficient power to cover our shortfall – not a sensible solution – its the non technical that promote it thinking its for free from the sun, they don’t realize that cells have a life span and its the most costly source of energy in the world – Due to this in spit of tax benefits Mobil closed down its corporation and no longer promotes solar energy.
      Whilst universities try to manufacture a solar cell that lasts longer – mickey mouse companies dump product in Zimbabwe with 10 years warranty claims – if you try and contact them of course you will find out they no longer operate.
      Wind energy is a solution but the design is wrong and there was a lecture on this at the Dutch Engineering University that I attended. Currently in the EU wind generators have been found costly and ineffective.

  7. loveness says:

    Maybe you just hate his looks or his tribe.load shedding is better now than under the previous cant lie about things we see everyday.Dont mislead people.

  8. Hatidzokeko says:

    Mavhaire should stick to what he knows best: Telling Mugabe to GO!!

  9. NBS says:

    The light went off in ZPF a long time ago!

  10. Chitova weGona says:

    The writer has a score to settle with Mavhaire. Load shedding has been there for ages and I do not think Mavhaire was the minister. Blame the whole thugs party for the situation we are in including your own uncle mugabe.

    • apolitical says:

      To explain what is happening is crooks are being dismissed and they are not pleased hence the anti Mavhaire article. I mean what right has he to fire them they control the economy – effectively won the election – they steal 10′s millions not manty of their priojects are legitimate – the police investigate the illegal meters scam theyb are not compulsory but still ZPC officials do not apologise as they say they need a package. Thisc was pushed through without legislation between the election promoted by the previous minister presumanbly for his retirement. It is noted the mews media comments on the board being dismissed that agree to the meters an suspiciously stops without telling who the individuals were behind the scenes.
      By law if you want one, and if its been installed that’s what the private company and ZPC officials say you have to pay for it plus installation. Ask how much they are, how much they cost to install? There will be no answer because it will continue to be added as an unpaid bill forever. This is the level of corruption while journalists chant anti Zanu slogans and criticise minister instead of protecting public interests. Its all illegal one phone call to serious crime will confirm this, but no journalist will do this, they just have to ask who is handling the investigation into ZPC on illegal meters.

      • wankie says:

        are u sure zpc is responsible for meters?verify yo facts apol

        • apolitical says:

          Zesa is responsible, and the police will be able to tell you exactly who in head office is behind it.
          There are of course private companies involved who make the bulk of the profit with common interests by Zesa /ZPC officials.
          Just make one phone call its easier than sitting their disputing without any information.

  11. Guvnor says:

    Prune the rotten apples and bring in the professionals.

  12. The truth of the matter is that those that ruled the country from 1980 found a booming economy, a vibrant transport network and billions of dollars in the state coffers.The sewerage and water networks were second to none. The streets were clean and the agricultural sector was sustaining the whole of Africa. Tourism went on a triple boom because Zimbabwe had taken it,s place on the world stage. In the sports arena the Golden girls had won the first hockey gold medal for Zimbabwe at the Olympics . The National football team was playing a level of football that stunned Africa. The Davies cup tennis teams were booming. Two brothers were making waves in the cricket world. Flo Kennedy was bowling like she never bowled before.

    No amount of argument will clean out or shift the blame from who is responsible and still remains responsible for Zimbabwe’s woes. That was memory lane. If there is one person within the rulers of this country that will tell the truth, then they must be applauded. That he is clueless is not the point. That he can face the Nation and tell the truth is commendable because of late the truth is rare because a lot of people are in denial and want to shift the blame on those that did not have the power to effect change during the GNU.

    • apolitical says:

      They did effect change during GNU, the MDC Minister of Energy and his team stole millions – anti corruption committee took the perks and didn’t process one case in five years.
      MDC effected change all right which will take years to recover from.
      I don’t think they should get away with it I think the director and former minister should be jailed.

  13. Mixed Race says:

    @Apolitical-minor correction,the installation of remotely switching off/on of geysers was done during the seventies when it was ESC,which were allowed to break down gradually because of poor maintenance by Zesa staff.The central tones used to remotely switch on/off the geysers and the units which receive the tones broke down leaving the geysers permanently on or off.I spent a lot of time explaining to poor people that their geysers were not faulty to avoid unscrupulous electricians charging them for nothing.
    The only thing to do is to physically switch on and off the geysers as per your need.Surely,our CIOs should protect the country against economic sabotage,if what you have stated above is factual.We cannot allow misguided people to destroy of resources with impunity.

    • apolitical says:

      I must confess that CIO are currently investigating, I bumped into one whilst fact finding, something others need to try, but are facing a serious intimidation problem, good staff are scared. Their families have been threatened- long term engineers of 25 years standing with Zesa have been told they will lose there their pension if they don’t obey and produce 0 power. They know where their families live etc.
      We owe the little power we have to a few very brave engineers!

    • apolitical says:

      At the time we had the city of Harare in charge of Harares power as I recall operating from Wynne St so im sure it fell under their engineers and not ESC, not sure ofv the working relationship between the two. but there was a maintenance problem, thing is residents of Harare refused even to instruct domestic workers to switch off geysers.
      It like the water conservation efforts, as people would not conserve and use water restrictors in their hosepipes like sprays they banned hosepipes, then they had a ban on filling swimming pools so people installed tanks throughout the city which possibly hold collectively as much as our reservoir. Such is the selfishness of our residents.
      That why load limiters were installed – they were selfish then and still are.

      • NBS says:

        Apolitical you do have many facts but what I can’t quite work out is why you cannot lay the blame at the door it deserves to be laid. ZPF and Mugabe have been in power since 18th April 1980. And since then ZESA, among everything else has been on a constant decline. Why can’t we just say what is fact. The buck always stops with the head.

        • NBS says:

          And I would also like to say: it is never too late to turn back and do the right thing until it is too late and that is for all of us

        • apolitical says:

          In this case with the head of Zesa. You have this illness which lays blame on one person when in fact corruption and thft have become common in Zimbabwe.
          We had another problem in Zesa in that government tended to listen to overseas consultants who put a replacement date on everything including vehicles – with all the second hand cars in the nation we would have to walk if we listened to them.
          On power they would say go hydro – in the EU there is heavy pollution tax so hydro and atomic reactors are the way to go – its the opposite here but they don’t understand.
          We have acres covered in coal two thirds of the country if we used some of this there would be more room for game, for agriculture. I stead we flood mineral rich areas such as Kariba, really stupid given the obvious advantages of thermal stations in Zimbabwe. Again, much of our coal is friable and no good for export but if we use it we could export power, of course people will have to think to change there attitude of a quick buck – there lies the real problem.
          We locally believe the propaganda without question, must be right because an overseas consultant working on a kickback says its right.
          Where you have heavily populated and built up areas pollution is a problem especially in the EU – we don’t share that problem in Zimbabwe.

        • apolitical says:

          Changing the government or Minister or President wont stop the thieves. You have to target those criminals who are the thieves, lock them up. Deal with the company.
          Proof is you put Mangoma in charge and all he did was become wealthy and make the situation worse.

  14. Mixed Race says:

    This is not about politics ,therefore the state machinery should protect the whistle blowers to get rid of the corrupt and useless saboteurs.

    • apolitical says:

      This is a good point we don’t protect the whistle blowers – this would be a great help.
      I recall making written complaint to ZPC, I let a senior employee read it – he said what about security – I was confused and asked what he meant – he said your security, everything in your letter is true but you don’t know these people like I do, what I meant was your security. He went on to say what happened to him.

  15. Mapingu says:

    I am puzzled that individuals, including the author of the above article still don’t know the kind of qualities crucial to Mugabe to appoint someone in his cabinet. For lack of better words let me say one needs to either have no brains to figure anything without being told by someone else or have been a resident of Mars (or some other remote outer space) for him/her not to know qualities that are considered key by Mugabe for such appointments. Just to assist those who are in this group of people, inter alia Mugabe revers the following qualities:
    1. Dullness to extent of moronic levels;
    2. Cluelessness in anything regarded as good governance, morally right, humanistic, etc;
    3. Greediness – to the extent of being ready to kill anyone who stops you from grabbing what does not belong to you;
    4. Selfishnes …..;
    5. Blind loyalty to dear the 1st family;
    6. Belief in rule of the junckle;
    7. Belief that Mugabe is “Son of God” that is ‘He is a God’;

    Surely for the 34 yrs some of us have lived under Mugabe; and observed his appointments and dis-appointment of members of cabinet I have come to the conclusion that the above qualities are among the top in Mugabe’s considerations.

  16. Small axe says:

    I am sorry. I am lost here. Apoliticals rumblings sound like someone copying and pasting records. Can these be from the CIO? I don’t get the sense of it. It looks like this is not emanating from someone who is writing contributions. It is like a dossier someone was asked to make on certain people.

    • apolitical says:

      @ Small axe – You can always check yourself you don’t have to stay confused you can ask, it wont hurt you too much to get educated.

  17. Mixed Race says:

    To control corruption in your organisation the management should have the skills beyond his subordinates to pick it up before it happens by using good control checks.You can only do that if you know the workings of your organisation.Its very easy to control corruption at ZESA if they have knowledgeable line managers.When I worked for a highly technical company I left a legend of how to root out corrupt individuals because I knew that company’s technical operations in details to be able to monitor the suspects without them knowing.
    From my home-made control center I am able to monitor some of ZESA line faults so that when I report to them I actually tell them what to look for to save outage time.Zesa needs managers who are practical to monitor the system properly and root out corrupt individuals,who make illegal connections and poor workmanship.
    Its wrong to blame the minister for operational problems because these guys are non-technical people who rely upon company management.Sabotage can only happen when you have no proper checks and adequate knowledge about the system you are supposed to control.

  18. apolitical says:

    Agreed! We complain of transformer oil being stolen but managers don’t even insist on locking substation doors.

  19. Mixed Race says:

    I really feel pity for you guys working for ZESA with these bad managers ,they lost good people like Danisa Sibanda whom I dealt with when we experienced serious problems.I would meet with them and discuss issues logically and come out with quick solutions.
    I remember one day we had a funny ZESA fault near Solusi mission which affected many electronic equipment within that area up to Tsholotsho.As an electronic guy I told them to look for sparks at at the poles and on transformers at night because its easy to see purple light at night.
    The following day they phoned me to tell me that they had found the sparking fault and cleared it on the 11 kilovolts feed.Those were the days when we all worked for the development of our dear country.
    Its easy to trace the ones who steal your transformer oil if you do a bit of investigation.Try the siya-so who repair refrigerators.They use the wrong coolant for the fridges because its cheap for them,but you have insiders who help them because they know when your load shedding is being done.No one can touch a live transformer unless he is an idiot.

    • apolitical says:

      Finding the thieves will lead to new ones emerging. there’s now a need to secure all Zesa equipment – if individuals get alarm systems and employ 24 hour security companies to monitor their home why cant Zesa do the same thing. lock their substations and alarm them it s much cheaper than 100000 for a new transformer. Of course it would mean no kickbacks for the order.

  20. Mhofela says:

    Privatization is certainly not the way to go. Look at the chaos and corruption it created during Mangoma’s time. In an African economy like Zim, you most certainly cannot leave the operations and management of an important entity as a National Power Utility in the hands of either foreigners, or private firms who in most cases are profit centred moguls who will by all means make sure they do not re-invest their profits into the local economy. Mavhaire adini zvake?

  21. vashe mukotami says:

    The writer is outright dumb,electricity is not generated by waving a magical wade!zim does not have enough money to build new power stations,and to blame that on Mavhaire it’s not only absurd but a combination of stupidity and ignorance

  22. apolitical says:

    Finally, there is a need for the doubters to think and try and answer a few simple questions.
    Given that boilers can be repaired as can generators and with the exception of one power station the generator capability is as was.
    The exception is Mutare power station which was stolen by Zesa employees and sold I believe currently providing power to Swaziland, which also puts paid to the stupid decommissioning comment in that other vcountries welcomed our power station.
    Where in the world has theft and corruption been so bad that a complete power station was stolen by power utility employees.
    Ask why the journalists don’t publish it to help start investigation is it theft or sabotage? Is there only propaganda funding for journalists to have a go at the new minister.
    Go there and view the empty building at Mutare building please will some journalist stop writing what he is told and investigate, its not that hard.
    This kind of story is world news, no one has ever stolen a power ststion before.
    I rest my case can someone else try and do some investigation and make sure its published rather than publish useless propaganda devoid of fact, full of useless personal opinion.

    • apolitical says:

      How come we could cater for 100% of power when industry was at full rate and now with the same equipment that can be maintained struggle to produce enough for 40 %?
      Could it be you only get kickbacks when you import power?
      Maybe its as simple as that – why cant any journalist ask simple questions like this, they dont even need technical knowledge just common sense.Why don’t they want to find out who is behind it?

  23. vashe mukotami says:

    The stupid journalist has been paid by Jonathan Moyo to tarnish the no-nonsense Minister.For me Mavhaire is the best minister so far considering about of money the government is serving thru the blending initiative.

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