via Residents lose hope in ZESA 11 December 2014 by Nelson Sibanda
Residents of Harare have lost hope in the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority’s ability to provide power in the foreseeable future.
The power utility has been struggling to deliver for the past decade with the situation worsening with each day.
Simbarashe Moyo, chairperson Combined Harare Residents Association, said residents were fed up with ZESA. “The chances that ZESA would shape up and deliver are next to zero. The power situation is just hopeless,” he said, as people resort to using firewood for cooking due to the indefinite electricity outages. He said no one at the power utility was forthcoming with an explanation.
As if the ZESA crisis was not bad enough, residents learnt with shock that media claims that the water supply situation in Harare had improved were false. CHRA visited Mabvuku, Hatfield, Mbare, Harare South, Borrowdale, Budiriro, Malbereign, Msasa Park, Waterfalls, Ruwa and Chitungwiza and found them dry.
“Harare only achieved a new pumping capacity of an extra 70 mega litres to make it 470 against a daily 1 200-1 400 mega litres demand a day. “Judging by the time taken to achieve the additional 70 litres per day, everything suggests that residents should brace for more water shortages, as the current crises is far from over,” said Moyo.
Ignatius Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, has thrown his weight behind the 144 million dollar Harare water infrastructure rehabilitation exercise. “The water infrastructure upgrading would help end the water woes affecting Harare,” Chombo assured ratepayers.
Power shortages affect provision of water, as water works are powered by electricity. But the power crisis worsened recently following the removal of some 125 megawatts from the grid due to maintenance work at Kariba South Power Station, said acting Kariba Power Station general manager, Charles Bhebhe.
Although ZESA spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira, switched off his mobile number after promising to respond to the Zimbabwean’s questions, Bhebhe indicated that upgrading of the Kariba South Plant would boost output from the current 750 megawatts to 1,050.
Kariba South is being upgraded through the $354 million loan from Chinese Bank, Exim. Meanwhile, Zimbabweans were warned by the power provider of a dark festive season as the upgrading at Kariba South would be in progress.