Electricity is scarce in Zimbabwe

via Electricity is scarce in Zimbabwe – Business Insider Oct. 31, 2015

The people of Zimbabwe are being forced to live without power for periods of up to 48 hours because supply can’t keep up with demand.

The government blames “angry river gods” for a rain shortage that reduced the amount of water flowing into the Kariba Dam — a major energy supplier for the country, according to the Associated Press.

The government has conducted rainmaking ceremonies in the past and has another one scheduled for Saturday in an attempt to find a solution to its energy shortage.   

Zimbabwe needs about 2000 megawatts (MW) of electricity per day, but the country only generates around 900 MW. Even when there is power, electricity comes sporadically. Often, it’s only available between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time, Maxwell Shumba, president of the ZimFirst Party, an opposition party to President Robert Mugabe, told Business Insider.

Maxwell ShumbaA neighborhood in Lobengula West, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, at night.

The prolonged periods without power aren’t just an inconvenience for the people of Zimbabwe; they’re also wreaking havoc on an already unstable economy. 

The blackouts are “stifling business, healthcare and the quality of life for Zimbabweans,” Sam Amsterdam, the former media advisor to Minister David Coltart (MDC-N) and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T), told Business Insider. 

“We’re seeing a ZANU Party (President Mugabe’s party) unabated, cronyism run rampant, with unreliable firms granted limited access to the industry,” he added, “and corruption festering from within government and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, ensuring the days of ‘business by candlelight’ to be far from over.”

The energy problems have contributed to the deflationary environment that has crippled the country since the US dollar was introduced in 2009 as a means of getting the country’s hyperinflation under control.

Zimbabwe’s economy grew an estimated 3.2% in 2014 after registering growth of 4.5% in 2013. It’s forecast to grow just 1% in 2015, according to the World Bank. At that rate, Zimbabwe will grow at a rate well below the rest of the sub-Saharan African region.

On Friday, All Africa reported the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) has raised a total of $45 million to fund three power-generation projects in the country.

The bonds — which were floated in 2014 but have yet to meet their $65 million target — are designed to fund the repowering of three power stations in the country. In addition, the government has been touting a 250 MW diesel plant in the eastern city of Mutare.

“Their frantic efforts to build the much touted 250 megawatt electricity generation diesel plant in Mutare will not help,” Shumba says. “In fact it will just increase the cost of electricity for consumers and an already burdened economy.”


  • comment-avatar

    So the answer is to have a rain dance !!! God help us

  • comment-avatar
    Mugarbage 7 years ago

    So the angry river god Nyamynyamy is to blame this week.
    What a relief, for a moment I thought it was lack of foresight.

  • comment-avatar
    Mlimo 7 years ago

    Oh I thought it was the white Rhodesians fault. The problem is the main rain making site in Zimbabwe is in a non Shona area so they would have to ask the local Mlimo for permission.
    This is of course the wests fault or sanctions on Mugabe. Anything except long term planning or mismanagement.

  • comment-avatar

    Now we pay $1 per k/W HOUR and we have power for 4 hrs in 24 hrs// AFTER we install the magic generator in Mutare (as far from BYO as possible) We will still only have 4 hrs of power in 24 hrs BUT We will now have to pay $2 per k/w hour(double the price if not more for the same amount of energy)// AND THIS IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS//ZANU PF logic// GO -GO NOW//PLEASE