‘We have paid $10m to HCB’

GOVERNMENT says it has paid US$10 million to the Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), Mozambique’s power utility to clear part of the US$35 million debt it owes them to unlock fresh power imports.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Last week, our sister paper the Zimbabwe Independent reported that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe pledged to release US$10 million to HCB towards clearing the debt owed to it to import more power.

Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the 53rd Southern African Power Pool Management (SAPP) Committee official opening yesterday, Energy deputy minister Magna Mudyiwa said the payment had been made.

SAPP is a co-operation of the national electricity companies in southern Africa under the Southern African Development Community, which allows for excess electricity to be sold to power utilities with insufficient power.

In June, Energy minister Fortune Chasi stated that US$10 million had been paid to South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, only for the South Africans to later deny those claims.

“If we can get up to 400 megawatts from HCB, that will be fine for us. We have to source for the funds because our electricity situation is not that good so we have to source for funds to pay HCB,” Mudyiwa said.

Zimbabwe is in the throes of severe power outages caused by low water levels at Kariba Dam, the main source of the country’s hydro-electric power.

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