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Zesa blackout sparks outrage

Harare residents yesterday said heads must roll at Zesa after the beleaguered parastatal released a load-shedding schedule that will see most households going without electricity for 18 hours a day.


Zesa blamed the rolling blackouts on low water levels at Kariba Dam, which have affected electricity generation and breakdowns at Hwange Power Station.

Thomas Dutiro of Sunningdale said the increased load-shedding was due to mismanagement at Zesa.

“Certain people at Zesa are busy making their pockets fat, ignoring [the fact] that some machines in Hwange and Kariba need maintenance. As long as they do not reduce their wage bills to channel funds towards working to reduce load-shedding, Zimbabwe is going to be in total darkness,” said Dutiro.


Luke Ndabatei of Glen Norah said Zesa’s monopoly was to blame for the crisis.

“Our biggest problem has been lack of planning on the part of authorities, while those sitting at offices claiming to be managers at Zesa do nothing other than take fat pay cheques home every month,” he said.

“Rather than take us through this excruciating pain, government should allow private players to tap into our abundant sunshine to provide solar energy.”

Jacob Kamutsenzere of Hatfield blamed the government, saying officials slept on the job.

“Zimbabwe is in a total mess. This is a crisis that reflects the situation in every other sector in the country,” he said.

“The challenge is that our leadership lacks focus and they concentrate on the wrong issues altogether. Zimbabwe has abundant sunshine and solar panels were invented ages ago. There are several solar panel manufacturing companies in the world, half of which would jump at a chance to invest in Zimbabwe, but we have fickle policy implementation.”

Since 2007, the country has been experiencing increased load-shedding and unscheduled power supply disruptions countrywide, resulting in many Zimbabweans spending hours in the dark.

According to the latest load-shedding schedule, most residential areas will go from 4am to 10pm without power.
The situation has forced many residents to use other energy sources such as LP gas, wood and solar, while others use generators.

A statement released by Zesa’s subsidiary — the Zimbabwe Power Company — on its website last week showed that Hwange was generating 414MW, Kariba 500MW, Harare Power Station 30MW, Munyati 22MW and Bulawayo 18MW, translating to a mere 984MW for the whole country.

Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira said the ongoing electricity crisis can only improve if there were enough rains to raise the water levels at the Kariba Dam.

Gwasira said the power utility was waiting for the rainy season for improved water inflows and that would probably transform the current power situation.

“The generation capacity drop of about 125 megawatts, which is equivalent to one quarter of Harare, has affected the supply of electricity in the country and the improvement can only come if we are generating in Kariba, which is our main anchor,” Gwasira said.

“Although we are experiencing system challenges in Hwange, it is the dropping of water levels at Kariba Dam that has contributed to the excessive load-shedding being experienced in the country as a result of high demand for electricity.”

Low water levels at Kariba Dam have also affected electricity generation in neighbouring Zambia as the countries share power from the same source.

10 Responses to Zesa blackout sparks outrage

  1. magame September 27, 2015 at 8:30 am #

    Incompetence. Is this the first time water levels have fallen in Kariba. With the majority of domestic consumers on prepaid where is the money they prepay going. To govt salaries maybe. Surely regional countries can supply us with power if we can pay. Besides why are we relying on a dam built 60 years ago. 35 years after independence we have nothing to show as our own significant investment in power generation. The price of domination by one man.

  2. E Makhate September 27, 2015 at 9:51 am #

    Wait until the Kariba dam wall collapses! Then we will be surely back to the 1950s. Kariba is 55years old, Hwange is over 30years etc, what did we expect. Even the South Africans are struggling to complete one power station. What about the Zim banana republic has even failed to build a public toilet in Harare.

  3. guruuswa September 27, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    what do u expect when someone buys electrical fuses for R400.00 in SA and invoices ZESA $40000.00 (US) for same shipment ??? . Corruption @ its best

  4. kwv September 27, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

    “Maintenance” and “Planning” seem to be unknown words in Zimbabwe. Our whole present situation is largely due to a total lack of planning and forward thinking, from “land reform” through to “indigenisation”. No thought was ever given to what the effects were bound to be.

  5. Amai Truthfulness September 27, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

    The sooner we STOP calling a CRISIS “a challenge” and address these CRISIS’ as CRISIS – and the sooner we STOP the corruption the buyers and managers in ZETDC and ZPC are involved in and the sooner Mugabe STOPS appointing relatives and wives to run these NATIONAL IMPORTANCE Parastatals THE BETTER! It is now just a matter of time and we will be plunged into permanent darkness – Then Mugabe will be happy because he will have reversed completely what the white man brought to HIS LAND !

  6. Investor September 28, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

    Dear ZESA CEO and Board. Kindly note that your incompetence is clear to all… A school student of almost any age could do a better job than you… You have a monopoly, everyone wants your product and we pre-pay for it… How can a business like this fail?? You are a disgrace without exception… Now to the countys leadership, the same leadership who reads the same speach twice without noticing is now an expert on the cause of the ZESA shorage… Really! You disgrace yourself daily, with your incompetence and lack of logic…

  7. Blessing September 29, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    Well then it is going to be a tough long hard year like every year in Zimbabwe as we are in for a drought this year which means levels at Kariba may not get to where we want them to be.Lack of foresight and planning.Just living for the present as usual.

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  9. theposterwithnoname October 1, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    interestingly, I just read an article on bloomberg which suggests that the kariba dam has low water levels as a result of abuse by both Zambia and Zim by over-genarating power. the article suggests that there are no checks and balances to ensure that electricity is generated in a sustenable manner.

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