Sadc seeks answers on energy crisis

Amon Murwira

THE Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) protocol on energy will be amended with a view to modernise it and provide solutions to the crippling power crisis affecting the region.

This was revealed yesterday by the Higher and Tertiary Education minister Amon Murwira in response to questions from journalists on the energy crisis at the 38th post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday.

Murwira said the electricity crisis needed technological solutions as power production capacity and demand had changed since 1996.

Zimbabwe and South Africa have been experiencing debilitating power outages, which are threatening to affect economic activities in the two countries.

“What they are doing is to try and modernise the agreement, where we have the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), and we want SAPP to be adequately resourced in the short term,” Murwira said.

“We are working towards energy self-sufficiency, and we are having our own challenges as a region, but these challenges help us to move faster towards closing the energy gap.”

In neighbouring South Africa, load shedding has worsened due to energy deficits, and the country has failed to export electricity to Zimbabwe, whose hydro-electricity generation capacity has been affected by low water levels at Kariba Dam.

In the past few weeks, Zimbabwe sank deeper into a power crisis after Kariba was forced to cut its usual 600MW production by half as water levels became too low.

Meanwhile, presenting a post-Cabinet report, Information and Publicity minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe had witnessed a marginal spike in COVID-19 cases over the week.

Mutsvangwa said 211 cases and six deaths were recorded, up from 203 cases last week.

Since COVID-19 hit the country in 2020, the country has registered 259 770 cases.  The recovery rate stands at 98%.

“For the week under review, there were 28 new admissions compared to 30 recorded the previous week. Cabinet advises that the small spike in the number of new cases and deaths recorded during the week is of concern and calls for the country to remain vigilant,” she said.

Mutsvangwa also said Cabinet received and adopted the first periodic report of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children, which outlines the legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures adopted by Zimbabwe to implement the charter.

She said in order to promote the rights of children, the country would also take administrative measures such as the establishment of the Victim-Friendly Court to protect vulnerable child witnesses and a Victim Friendly Unit within the Zimbabwe Republic Police for the investigation of crimes against women and children involving sexual abuse and domestic violence.

“The report shows that Zimbabwe has made great strides in promoting and protecting the rights of children through the implementation and domestication of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child,” Mutsvangwa said.

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