Zimbabwe’s permanent secretary of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana has said the government is working to resolve the power crisis which he said is “causing distress to the citizenry and business.”
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) rolled out a crippling load-shedding schedule last week after being directed by the Zambezi River Authority to reduce power generation at Kariba South Hydropower Station to allow the water body to refill.
In some parts of the country, load-shedding goes for 22 hours while it is effective, uninterrupted, from 5 am to 11 pm in some parts of Harare, the capital. In a Twitter post seen by Pindula News, Mangwana thanked the citizenry for its patience. He said:
The power cuts are causing distress, inconvenience and cost to the citizenry and business. This is regrettable. The challenge is affecting part of our region. Govt is seized with implementing immediate mitigatory measures to bring normalcy. We thank you for your patience.
His remarks are in resonance with those of President Emmerson Mnangagwa who wrote in his weekly column in The Sunday Mail that the power cuts were making Zimbabwe unattractive to potential investors.
Businesses say they have resorted to using generators and solar systems, an alternative that is expensive and is likely to trigger a sharp rise in the prices of commodities.
Zimbabwe’s imports of 540MW from neighbouring countries are not enough to cover the power deficit.
An update by the Zimbabwe Power Company on 6 December 2022 (today) suggests that Zimbabwe is generating a total of 494MW. In total, Zimbabwe has 1034 MW against a peak demand of 2 200 MW.
ZESA heavily relies on the Kariba Hydropower Station as the ageing Hwange Thermal Power Station is always breaking down.
There have been efforts to refurbish the Hwange plant and introduce new ones but there are no dividends to pick from the initiatives, yet.