ZESA power cuts worsen after election period

via ZESA power cuts worsen after election period | SW Radio Africa By Tererai Karimakwenda

Zimbabwe’s power authority ZESA, has been accused of manipulating power output during the 31st July election period, by reducing unpopular load shedding during that time.

The allegations come as the country returned to extended periods every day without electricity, following several weeks of improved electricity output. These massive power cuts, ranging from 8 to 15 hours daily, are also coming without the usual load shedding warnings to domestic and commercial users. Some areas were going without power for entire days.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) admitted in a statement that it had reduced power output from 700 to 200 megawatts over the past two weeks, due to the loss of four power generating units. ZESA claims the situation is being made worse by ongoing plant maintenance at Cahora Bassa in Mozambique.

The power utility also confirmed that it increased power supply and minimized load shedding in the period leading up the elections, by importing additional electricity from the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP). It claims this was done to ensure the smooth running of elections, but some observers dismissed the claim.

One of the critics, Precious Shumba from the Harare Residents Trust (HRT), told SW Radio Africa that residents did not understand why power cuts had suddenly become worse when no other relevant factors had changed.

“ZESA officials have not been forthcoming in clarifying this position except for their latest statement which was released yesterday, saying it was because of their arrangement, ZESA needs to come clean with what happened,” Shumba said.

He added: “Unfortunately you will find that most Zimbabweans have become used to power shortages, inconsistent water supplies, the corrupt practices of service provides and policy makers and heavily potholed roads, which they see as normal.”

The activist also linked the increased load shedding to recent statements made by Vice president Joice Mujuru, suggesting that ZESA should cancel more than $400 million in debt owed to the utility by domestic users and government.

Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo had last month also ordered all 92 rural and urban councils to write off debts owed by residents for rates and bills from February 2009 to June 30 this year.

According to the Newsday newspaper, the outgoing Energy Minister Elton Mangoma on Tuesday “accused politicians pushing for the scrapping of electricity debts of seeking to benefit personally while hiding behind poor citizens”.

Zimbabweans have struggled to live with power cuts and water shortages since independence in 1980, with the situation becoming worse over the years. This is due largely to government neglect of the infrastructure, mismanagement, corruption and the lack of political will.

Unfortunately it is the ordinary poor citizens who will continue to suffer the most, while rich ZANU-PF chefs turn to expensive generators and bottled water.



  • comment-avatar
    Zimguard80 11 years ago

    “Unfortunately it is the ordinary poor citizens who will continue to suffer the most, while rich ZANU-PF chefs turn to expensive generators and bottled water.”

    Unfortunately indeed!!! Shamelessly, typically in criminal style they hang on to a ” landslide victory” they know doesn’t exist in their hearts and that of the people they stole the real landslide victory from, they knew the exit doors were beckoning the criminal cabal, but there being a trend in the subregion of what happens to former thieves, muggers, torturers, rapists and murderers it was boldly decided that rigging on a massive scale was the way forward just to protect their lavish life styles they don’t wish on any other person.

    It’s taboo in Zimbabwe to encourage ‘ordinary common’ people to be politically, economically, socially, psychologically empowered to thrive without constant manipulation from the state apparatus. This is what makes them have a hold on the rural folk, they can easily be forced into situations because they are completely defenceless. Where in this world is it a crime to conduct voter education? Robert Mugabe, the chameleon, says leave voter education to ZEC which does nothing at all and on the Election Day they turn a blind eye to thousands being ” assisted” to vote. With voter education conducted by anyone from the streets of Mbare or a village in Tsholotsho there wouldn’t have been any need for assisted voters.

    Whether we like it or not, The Godfather of The Criminal Cabal in ZANU – pfubvu will have his 5 years. It doesn’t matter whether he kicks the bucket or not, for all practical purposes they still remain untouchables.

    Good luck Zimbabweans on this situation you find yourselves in!!! God bless you.

  • comment-avatar
    jongwe power 11 years ago

    But…but…Zanu-PF promised to make immediate improvements to the economy after winning the elections! After all, they said they had a trillion dollars lying around in the Reserve Bank, just waiting to be used, if people just voted correctly (or else). All those grand projects like the $400 million solar power plant in Marondera, a new power station in Gokwe, wind turbines, machines that turn our landfill waste into pure energy…all those wonderful machines that would make us supply the whole SADC region with cheap electricity in no time?

    There is no way that those are lies. Zanu-PF NEVER lies.


    Aw, come on, guys. Don’t shake your heads!

  • comment-avatar

    As a consultant who has been monitoring Harare pwer station there has been a marked improvement.
    Unlike journalists I only know how to talk from the facts.
    The problem with zesa has not been lacxk of capacity or coal, Harare power station can opersate on Sengwa coal and in fact when coas;l was advertidsed as the problem there was a huge pile of coal at the station and no order for coal had been processed.
    The CEO said he had closed the station down as it was uneconomical.
    As a result of my report the MD was fired and laterally the CEO,Rafamoyo. Today thev station is ion production and makes a monthly 1cmillion dollars profit.
    The problem was regime change – if you have power cuts factories will close, people will vote MDC.
    When I asked innocently, now you’ve closed the power station but why do you keep 300 employees there I was told I don’t understand.
    His political party emanated from the trade union and it wouldn’t look good to have those that lost their jobs chanting outside Zesa – so they increased tariffs to cater for non productive employees country wide.
    It will take a while to repair the damage caused by political saboteurs, and to weed them out – I object to them just being fired I think they should lose all assets and those that have lost jobs and businesses allowed to claim from them.
    These are the facts I had the security clearance to find out.

    • comment-avatar
      Yes Sir Boss My ass 11 years ago

      Since the land invasions, which saw hundreds of white-owned commercial farms invaded, Zimbabwe has not been able to adequately feed its population. Zimbabwe’s 1998-2002 involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy. The government’s subsequent land reform program, characterized by chaos and violence, badly damaged the commercial farming sector, the traditional source of exports and foreign exchange and the provider of 400,000 jobs, turning Zimbabwe into a net importer of food products. Until early 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe routinely printed money to fund the budget deficit, causing hyperinflation. Dollarization in early 2009 – which allowed currencies such as the Botswana pula, the South Africa rand, and the US dollar to be used locally – ended hyperinflation and restored price stability but exposed structural weaknesses that continue to inhibit broad-based growth.A tyranny does not necessarily have to be violent. Ask Zimbabweans. Actually, a non-violent one is more pervasive, more real as citizens begin to believe that there is no outside.

      • comment-avatar

        Yes Sir Boss My ass – you are on the wrong article this one is about Zesa.
        quoting propaganda about the land issue, jobs and the US dollar has no connection to the article save that its a bit of useless energy on your part.