The Energy and Power Development ministry was yesterday rapped for allowing the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) to float deficient multi-million dollar tenders at a time the power utility has embarked on excessive unscheduled load-shedding around the country.
The ministry was also challenged to put its house in order and be more proactive in doing its business.
This comes at a time the State Procurement Board (SPB) has cancelled a multi-million dollar compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) tender to supply 12 million energy-saving bulbs as the authority seeks to save power in the country.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy asked the ministry to apprise the country on various issues pertaining to the energy sector, during which committee chairman Edward Chindori-Chininga said: “You have done many tenders and you have kept going backwards, when are we going to go forward?”
Chindori-Chininga urged Zesa subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Power Company, to engage experts to assist them in ensuring their tender system was efficient.
Secretary for Energy and Power Development Justin Mupamhanga said the tender for prepaid meters was processed and it was only discovered later that the company which won the tender did not meet the fundamental requirements.
On the CFLs, Mupamhanga said: “On the second bidding, we approached the same companies and the process for the CFLs should end this month and we should see results on the adjudication.”
On the expansion projects for Hwange and Kariba power stations, the SPB floated a tender for the expression of interest (EOI) for the two power stations’ expansion projects.
He said the EOI was evaluated resulting in the shortlisting of five and six companies for the expansion of Hwange and Kariba power stations respectively.
According to Mupamhanga, Zesa is owed $515 million by consumers, a situation which is threatening its operations.
However, payments had improved as the power utility engages in tight credit control measures including entering into payment plans with consumers.
“A monthly average of $55 million (highest achieved $58 million) is now being collected with the utility now recovering part of the old debt.
The utility is now among the top 10 companies in contributing VAT to the fiscus,” he added.