Zesa Holdings is luring back its former workers, this time as consultants to complement the existing team, in a bid to improve electricity provision.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing electricity since year 2000, but the situation improved when the Second Republic came in.
However, there has been power cuts across the country in the last few weeks, including in some urban areas.
Yesterday, Zesa board executive chairman Dr Sydney Gata appointed five former Zesa employees, some from abroad, and said he was in the process of luring more skilled personnel back to the utility.
As from 2005 to 2006, Zesa lost a lot of skilled staffers, amid indications that Eskom of South Africa has over 400 ex-Zesa workers while in the United Kingdom, there are 72 graduate engineers in the national, with 65 reportedly in one Australian provincial power utility.
The recent forensic forensic audit removed a number of key skilled personnel, leaving Zimbabwe without the threshold minimum density of techno- industrial skills to support an aggressive recovery program for stabilisation and growth of electricity supply as enshrined in the National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030 objectives.
This has seen the coming in of consultants as stop-gap measure as the company awaits implementation of the cabinet directive of 2018 to rebundle Zesa into one entity.
The Government appointed Ernst & Young to carry out the rebundling exercise and a report will be presented to authorities while posts will be advertised.
Dr Gata confirmed the development to bring back the skilled former employees.
“I have an unflinching determination to deploy Zimbabwean professionals to come back and develop their country as this is how many economies have developed,” he said.
“We shall be putting put more detailed developmental plans in line with the aspirations of the National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030. The irony is that there is no noise when we expatriates are hired but some talk when we look at our very own nationals. “Similar developments are in the pipeline for the establishment of the projects department, protection department and the operations and maintenance of Hwange and other power stations.”
Dr Gata said they were seeking for qualified people to come and take up the positions to enable universal access of electricity.
Zesa has an unprecedented array of new projects geared to meet the aspirations and targets of NDS 1 and Vision 2030.
The projects will be announced in the near future.
This comes as demand for power has been rising in the last few months, with applications in mining and smelting alone requiring 2 050MW in the next four years.
Zesa has plans to meet the demand and requires large numbers of professional staffers.
Dr Gata said the consultant appointments were in line with Zimbabwean laws as they went through the Procurement Regulatory Authority (PRAZ) approvals.
“In terms of corporate governance we are well educated on this and post the forensic audit, we are now graduates of corporate governance and we followed all the PRAZ procedures. Each and every one of the appointees had attained the minimum qualifications of being a Zesa director and we will continue to engage only people who left Zesa without any issues or incidents,” said Dr Gata.
“In fact, we are the talk of the region and dubbed the ZETDC in Southern Africa where they say we are the Zimbabwe Engineers Training and Development Company as we are a fishing pond as there are many of our former employees holding senior positions in most utilities.
“We have the commitment to bring back our people under the New Dispensation and meet the targets of the NDS 1 and Vision 2030 for the benefit of the generality of Zimbabweans including our esteemed journalists.”
Among the consultants announced were Mr Itai Utah, who is coming back from the United States and will be a consultant for Innovation Technical Services, with renowned Engineer Cletus Nyachowe consulting on the International Business Front.
Engineer Tanda Chisi returns to Zesa from ZERA to consult on power projects. More engineers have expressed interest to come back to the utility from the Diaspora.
ZESA is employing the strategy being done in the United Kingdom and Eskom where ex-employees have been rehired and are nicknamed “the grey beards” and consult of various issues of their expertise.
Dr Gata also made internal transfers to try and enhance the team to meet targets.
Acting ZETDC managing director Lovemore Chinaka returns to his base where he was redeployed to the General Manager for the Western Region.
He has been replaced by Egen Choga in an acting capacity.
Engineer Katsande has been appointed as acting commercial director, as Dr Gata tries to strengthen Zesa operations.