By Everson Mushava
Zimbabweans grappling with power outages have to hold on a little longer for a power import breakthrough, with Cabinet yesterday disclosing that negotiations were still on-going with South Africa.
Briefing the media after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said acting Energy minister Sekai Nzenza apprised Cabinet that the 400 megawatt (MW) Eskom Power Import Scheme was still being negotiated.
“Cabinet was informed that pertaining to the 400MW Eskom Power Import Scheme, negotiations were still underway and that a more definitive position on the outcome of the negotiations would be issued once the remaining loose ends have been concluded,” she said.
Serious power shortages have seen citizens go for over 18 hours without electricity.
Captains of industry recently revealed that the economy was losing about $200 million every week due to the prolonged electricity crisis.
Mutsvangwa said due to the rolling power outages, the business community had now embraced renewable energy, including participation in net metering and smart
metering technologies as well as the implementation of the cost-reflective tariffs proposal for their members through a ring-fenced power arrangement.
“Modalities to operationalise the above resolutions are being worked out. Furthermore, Zesa is now accessing 300MW during off-pick hours. This additional power
is availed through the Southern African Power Pool Day Ahead Market under a US$2 million facility, which was mobilised by ZETDC (Zimbabwe Electricity
Transmission and Distribution Company) from its own resources. This additional power has reduced the duration of load-shedding in most areas,” she said.
Cabinet also ordered the removal of section 40 of the Marriages Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, arguing that the issue of civil partnerships
violated the country’s traditional cultural norms as well as Christian values.
“Cabinet members sought clarification from the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the import of section 40 of the Marriages Amendment Bill
currently before Parliament. Following the explanation by the Minister, Cabinet observed that the concept of a ‘civil union’ or ‘partnership’ is foreign and
not consistent with Zimbabwe’s cultural norms as well as its Christian values. Accordingly, Cabinet directed that section 40, which bears reference to ‘Civil
Partnerships’ be removed forthwith from the proposed Marriages Amendment Bill,” Mutsvangwa said.
The section had received widespread condemnation, with most people arguing that it promoted infidelity and immorality.
Cabinet also said it was considering appointing Zimbabwean citizens in the diaspora to fill in positions in State-run companies.