TRANSPARENCY International Zimbabwe (TIZ) has implored Energy and Power Development minister Dzikamai Mavhaire to address power shortages afflicting the country as an accountability measure of government.
TIZ information officer Cheryl Khuphe said in a statement that the corruption watchdog, through its Community Advocacy Unit, was concerned with Zesa’s incessant power cuts.
“Incessant power cuts have become the order of the day for Zimbabwe amid reports that Zesa has increased its load-shedding resulting in homes and businesses operating without power for long lengths of time,” she said.
She said failure to deliver quality services to rates and tax payers eroded the ministry’s integrity.
“Accountability is uttermost in this new parliamentary dispensation and the honourable minister is called upon to provide answers to the public through Parliament on escalating power outages,” she said.
Khuphe said Mavhaire had an obligation to allay the public’s anxieties by outlining his ministry’s plans to contain the problem of power outages.
She said Zimbabweans have endured power challenges for too long and the pre-paid meters seem not to have brought the expected relief.
“Zimbabweans demand and deserve a long-term solution to this problem that has entered its second decade now,” she said.
“The general populace had hoped the adoption of Zesa prepaid meters would add revenue thereby increasing power supply.”
Mavhaire, however, last week said the increased power outages were caused by maintenance work being undertaken by the Zimbabwe Power Company since the beginning of September, but would soon ease.
“We expect the current situation to continue to improve. The breakdowns at Hwange and the transmission challenges have been resolved,” Mavhaire said.
“The power supply is expected to improve steadily and reach acceptable levels by the end of October.”
He said Zimbabwe had a shortfall of 563 megawatts (MW) of electricity due to maintenance works as the local power stations produced 1 167MW.
He said Hwange Power Station was producing 470MW from four units while Kariba was generating 500MW.
Other small thermal power stations contribute 47MW to the grid with only 200MW being imported from Hydro Cahora Bassa in Mozambique. Zimbabwe uses 1 730MW per day in summer and 2 200MW at peak in winter.