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Ratepayers Accuse Power Utility of Corruption
Residents in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, claim employers and officials from the country's power utility are targeting bill defaulters, seeking backhand payments to bypass disconnections.
In a new report the Harare Residents Trust says it has received numerous complaints from residents saying ZESA employees were threatening and abusing them and asking for bribes to by-pass disconnections for customers who are failing to cope with huge bills.
Chinese firm fails environment assessment
Friday, 15 June 2012 11:55
BULAWAYO — Plans by Africa Sunlight Energy to commercially exploit methane
gas in Matabeleland North have suffered a major blow after the Chinese firm
failed an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The company has since been ordered to halt operations, dashing hopes for
alternative power generation in the region.
Africa Sunlight Energy was in the middle of exploring coal and coal-bed
methane in Gwayi with a view to establish a power station.
But the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is of the view that its report
was not convincing.
EMA spokesperson, Steady Kangaka told The Financial Gazette that the agency,
as the custodian of the environment, would not give a go ahead to projects
that might harm the ecosystem.
“The development we want is a sustainable one which will remain long after
we have departed from this planet. It must be economically, socially and
environmentally friendly. If one of those parameters is missing then as EMA
we cannot give a go ahead,” said Kangaka.
“It has to be done in a proper manner. In this instance, the company wants
to mine near a conservancy area therefore we have to be absolutely sure that
it will not interrupt with water supply and wildlife,” he added.
The Gwayi Valley Intensive Conservation Area had also complained about the
growing number of coal mining companies operating in the conservancy fearing
their operations would destroy the hunting and photographic safaris, which
are their major source of revenue in the wildlife-rich area.
During a consultative stakeholders meeting last month, it emerged that
open cast coal-mining activities have affected 32 farms in the conservancy
where more than 1 000 people reside.
Of late, several companies have been given rights to start mining and
exploration activities in the coal-rich region, with the latest being
Discovery Investments Company, which was given the green light to conduct
coal bed methane gas exploration in Mzola and Dandanda communal lands in
Lupane and Binga districts; Markrock Exploration and Mining Company for coal
exploration in the Gwayi area of Lupane as well as Glotech Engineering for
a Spiral Plant at Hwange Colliery.
Recently, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu announced
that more companies were keen on investing in mining activities in
Matabeleland North and took a swipe at the Gwayi Catchment Council
stakeholders for trying to block the new investments, which he said will go
a long way in uplifting the livelihoods of ordinary people.
Economic commentator, Eric Bloch, said it will take time before the methane
gas is fully exploited to provide alternative power for the whole
country. — Own Correspondent.
ZESA Lost Money to RBZ - Comptroller and Auditor General
10 hours 27 minutes ago
HARARE - June 16, 2012 – Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has
lost slightly over US$1million from its tobacco farming activities after the
funds were forfeited by the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the Comptroller
and Auditor General Mildred Chiri has said in her latest report.
The top government auditor also revealed that ZESA risks losing nearly
US$5million held by banks in South Africa and China.
“I noted that there were tobacco sales to Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco amounting to
US$1 299 412, 40 that have not been recovered for a period of over two
years. ZLT instructed RBZ to make a transfer of the funds to ZESA
enterprises. However, the RBZ took the funds citing that ZESA holdings has a
debt owing to RBZ which RBZ decided to set off. ZESA enterprises was still
reflecting this trade debtor in their accounts as owing,” said Chiri.
“Recommendation- the debt should be transferred to ZESA holdings upon
reaching mutual consensus or provide for the debt in full. Concerted effort
should be made to resolve this issue.”
The report added that ZESA was losing revenue due to non billing of
customers as most farmers were not being due to their hostility to meter
readers. It added that ZESA officials sent to disconnect defaulters were
It said US$4; 2 million was held with South Africa’s FNB bank and US$33 000
by Escrow bank of China and no follow ups have been made on the money for
“No reconciliations were prepared for the accounts as no statements were
received. In the prior year no reconciliations were prepared due to the same
reason. Thus there has been no correspondence with the banks for the past
three years,” Chiri said in her report.
ZESA slammed for sticking with estimated bills
By Alex Bell
15 June 2012
Zimbabwe’s Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has been slammed for
continuing to issue estimated bills to power users across the country,
despite the unreliable service provided.
ZESA’s Chief Executive, Josh Chifamba, said this week that the power utility
does not have the money to pay for meter readers. He told the parliamentary
portfolio committee on state enterprises and parastatals that they have no
choice but to keep asking for payment based on estimates, because meter
readers would mean raising rates.
A report from that same committee has revealed that there was no correlation
between the ZESA charges and services rendered, with some users being
charged, despite not using power.
“For example, one lady in Cowdray Park, Bulawayo, during one of the meetings
stated that while she was away in South Africa for three months after having
settled her bills and locked the house, upon return she found a US$500 bill
awaiting her despite the house being uninhabited. The lady informed the
committee that efforts to get ZESA to rectify that had not yielded any
results,” the report said.
The report also said that many consumers, who had gone for days without
electricity due to faults in the ZESA system, still received high bills
Simbarashe Moyo from the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
slammed ZESA for what he called their “incompetence and insincerity.” He
told SW Radio Africa that ZESA bills do not tally with the service being
provided, and often “there is no service to speak of.”
“This is a parastatal that clearly does not care at all about the plight of
residents. Most people don’t have jobs, they can’t afford the bills, but if
they don’t pay they get cut off,” Moyo said.
The CHRA official said that privatisation of the electricity authority
should be seriously considered, because the entire country was being
affected by ZESA’s mismanagement.
“Parastatals like ZESA are not doing well because they are run on the basis
of government nepotism. So it would be good to privatise because once you
invite competition, you’ll have better service. And all Zimbabweans want is
proper service,” Moyo said.
ZESA was earlier this year forced into defending itself after it was
revealed that top level government officials were defaulting on their bills,
but still receiving service. This included the Mugabe family, who owed more
than US$300,000 to the utility.
These revelations came as ZESA recommitted itself to cutting off all bill
defaulters. But to date only general members of the public have been
punished in this way.
Plans to expand Kariba power plant hit snag
Monday, 11 June 2012 12:15
BY NQABA MATSHAZI
PLANS by Zimbabwe to add two more generators to Kariba South have all but
hit a brick wall, with the authority responsible for Kariba Dam saying the
project was not feasible.
Zimbabwe, which shares the Kariba dam with Zambia, was hoping that the new
generators would help ease power shortages and load-shedding, which are
common in the country.
“We have looked at the feasibility of the project and there is not enough
water to run continuous power generation, unless they propose to do so
during the rainy season peak periods,” Wilson Sakala, the Zambezi River
Authority senior manager for Water Resources and Environmental Management
“We fear that if it is continuously run, there won’t be enough water in the
dam. However, when it’s not during the rainy season, the two units can run
but only for shorter periods and that means when the dam is full to
capacity, we no longer have to open the floodgates.”
But the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) insisted that it would go ahead with
the project, as it was looking to expanding Kariba South to increase
“It has not been communicated to us that there are problems with our
expansion project. In fact we have been advised that the water levels are
always high in the Kariba Dam.
“Early this year, during a tour of the dam by Sadc, we were apprised on the
advantages of adding two more units,” Fadzai Chisveto, ZPC spokesperson
However, the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (Zamcom), which administers the
Zambezi River on behalf of the eight countries that are on the basin, says
Zimbabwe’s only chance of increasing power generation is based on its
ability to look for foreign investors.
“If Zimbabwe cannot buy enough power from the existing Sadc power pool, the
only solution is for the country to open doors to partners that can fund its
power projects,” Michael Mutale, Zamcom executive secretary said.
Countries on a cross-border water course like the Zambezi are supposed to
inform each other of any projects that they are working on the river, so
that it does not affect other nations who are either up or downstream.
There are eight countries on the Zambezi watercourse and these have to okay
Zimbabwe’s plans on power generation, which also have to be approved by the
ZRA, which administers the Kariba Dam on behalf of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Countries on the Zambezi watercourse are Botswana, Angola, Zambia, Malawi
Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Sadc hopes for speedy resolution
Sadc hopes that the issue of adding more generators at Kariba power plant
may be resolved accordingly. Phera Ramoeli, Sadc senior programme officer
for water, said despite technical obstacles to Zimbabwe’s installing
additional generating capacity at Kariba South, he expected a solution would
“I am sure these are only technical issues but Zambia and Zimbabwe will iron
out these between themselves and find a win-win solution since ZRA is a body
that works in the best interests of the two,” he said.
Zesa employees cash in on defaulting residents
Monday, 11 June 2012 14:54
BY JENNIFER DUBE
HARARE — Some Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) employees are
cashing in on desperate Glen Norah residents, charging them an average of
US$30 per household to avoid power disconnection, a residents’ rights
organisation has said.
The Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) last week said some Zesa employees were
demanding payment to stop disconnecting defaulting residents’ power.
“Residents in the area have resorted to bribing Zesa employees around US$30
to avoid disconnection of electricity. Several residents have done this in
the community and continue to fall prey to the Zesa employees,” said the
The residents, said HRT, also complained that most of their electricity
bills were not a true reflection of consumption at household levels, as they
were based on estimates. They also complained about faulty billing and
excessive load-shedding in the suburb.
The residents also said Zesa officials were very uncooperative and hostile
whenever they attempted to seek detailed explanations on their accounts.
Zesa spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira, professed ignorance that some Zesa
employees were getting paid by defaulting residents to avoid disconnections.
He urged residents to pay the bills at banking halls and not to individuals.
“Whoever is paying that US$30 is being cheated and they are doing themselves
a disservice because their bills remain the same and even increase the
following month,” said Gwasira.
“One is better off paying that US$30 to Zesa and having their bill lowered
by the same amount and not giving it to someone for temporary relief, but
still risk disconnection.” He urged the public to report such people to
ZESA to continue with disconnections: Gwasira
Gwasira however said the disconnections to defaulting residents in Glen View
and other areas would continue. “It is not like we have a special operation
against residents in that area,” he said.
“This is just a routine operation,” said Gwasira. “We read meters, send
bills and expect payment, but some residents do not pay, prompting us to
send reminders in the form of a second bill. We are open to those who want
to negotiate payment plans but some ignore us, leaving us with no option but
to disconnect, which is the last resort.”
Gwasira said Zesa reads 80% of meters every month and starts with the other
20 the following month. He said rate payers should know that there is a
direct relationship between payments and the quality of service delivered.
“The better payment we receive, the better the service we deliver because we
use the money to improve our services,” he said.
Zim-Zambia partnership could ease ZESA woes
Zimbabwe’s power supply is hoped to improve following a partnership the
country entered into with Zambia to develop the electricity generation
capacity of the Batoka gorge.
by Sofia Mapuranga
The project, already captured in the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc) Infrastructure Investment prospectus, will see the country exploring
means to develop the Batoka gorge for the production of energy.
The project involves the construction of a dam and a hydro power plant on
the Zambezi River.
The potential capacity of the site is 1 600 MW to be shared equally between
Zambia and Zimbabwe Addressing delegates on Tuesday at the official opening
of the fifth River Basins Organisations workshop being held in Harare under
the theme “Monitoring the implementation of the Sadc Protocol on shared
watercourses”, the Minister of Water Resources Management, Sam Sipepa Nkomo
said there was need for a systematic and consistent implementation of the
“It is in this light that in partnership with the Republic of Zambia, we are
exploring means to develop the Batoka gorge. Water plays a major role in
energy production in Zimbabwe,” said Nkomo.
“In SADC, we have the necessary instruments and institutions to foster
integrated water resources management at the river basin level,” he added.
Nkomo said the speedy implementation of the agreed action points was
critical because water remained a critical component of the development
agenda in the region.
“The onus is on water authorities to ensure that the water sector is managed
efficiently and in line with international best practices,” he said.
Zimbabwe has over the years suffered poor power supplies because of limited
local generation capacity, lack of funds to import adequate electricity and
a scaling down of provisions from the region.
He said the establishment of sufficient institutional development for
trans-boundary waters had the capacity to enhance cooperation between
countries and could boost regional socio-economic development and
“Trans-boundary waters can make a contribution towards regional peace if the
institutional capacity exists to manage them cooperatively for the benefit
of all basin states,” he said.
The Sadc Director of Infrastructure and Services, Remigious Makumbe, said
water was a key pillar of the economy, adding that there was need to scale
up its availability to ensure food security in the region.
“Water is the engine for economic growth and many of our member states
continue to face the challenge of access to water supply and sanitation,” he
He added: “It is important for SADC countries to build strategic water
infrastructure that will increase land under irrigation to ensure the
availability of water and guarantee food security in the region.”
The fifth RBOs workshop aims to build a consensus on Sadc strategies to
support the efforts of member states in the establishment of institutional
It is also seeking to strengthen and develop RBOs and other joint
trans-boundary water resources management mechanisms in the region.
ZESA Angers Glen Norah Residents
HRT Membership Desk
4 June 2012, Glen Norah – ZESA has adopted punitive measures to defaulting
residents here who have not been paying their electricity bills consistently
by embarking in wide spread electricity disconnections. Residents in the
area have various reasons why they have not been settling their monthly
electricity bills. Residents feel that electricity bills are based on
estimates and are not a true reflection of the consumption at household
level, load shedding and faulty billing. This has frustrated some
breadwinners in the community who earn way below the poverty datum line.
This has left them with what they said “no reason to pay electricity bills”.
This contradicts the HRT policy which advocates for shared responsibility
between residents and service providers in service delivery. From the HRT’s
perspective, residents should exhibit their responsibility in service
delivery mainly by paying bills for services rendered. However, rates
should be affordable for the good of the greater public.
Having received the reports of massive power disconnections from the Glen
Norah B’ Residents’ Committee (GRC), that is responsible for monitoring and
evaluating community service delivery by service providers, the HRT
facilitated a mobile case work clinic in the area. From the interviews held
by the HRT Membership Officer, Simbarashe Majamanda, HRT Community
Coordinator Ms Abigail Itayi and the HRT Programs Intern, Mr Marshall
Masiyazi from the Midlands State University on Tuesday 29 May 2012 in Glen
Norah B Community, the dire economic situation of the country has affected
the capacity of residents to pay electricity bills. Most residents
appreciated that they have an obligation to pay for their electricity but
they have failed due to their socio-economic status. Eighty-nine (89)
reports from 53 women and 36 men were received and documented by the HRT
team within three hours at one of the households in the community.
The local Member of Parliament Honourable Gift Dzirutwe is seriously
concerned with the situation. He has helped the residents to deal with the
situation through sharing information and providing transport to the ZESA
offices in the city centre.
The following key issues came from the interviews:
Economic problems: Elderly men and women interviewed aged between 59 and
75 said they lack a source of income which has affected their capacity to
settle their electricity bills. Elderly women said that most of them are
widowed and they rely mostly on vending activities which does not give them
much money for survival. As vendors they also face challenges from the
Zimbabwe Republic Police and Municipal Police who conduct raids in the name
of illegal vending activities. This clearly shows that they also lack access
to designated vending points or that they do not afford them if they are
Faulty billing: Residents said that even if they make payments to ZESA,
the debt continues to sky rocket. “It appears making a payment is an
indication that you have a bit of money that ZESA can suck from you” said
one elderly man aged 85 who showed that he does not have any hope to clear
his debt which currently stands at $954.21 Account Number 283786651. The man
went on to say that he was prepared to pay $45.00 per month for electricity.
Growing insecurity: There is a feeling that residents may lose their
properties just as what happened to three households in Mabvuku after debt
collectors confiscated their properties due to outstanding water rates in
February 2012. Elderly women said that the high debts have caused insecurity
to their children who are the heirs to their properties which they have also
not fully acquired from council under the “rent to buy program”.
Unprofessional conduct by ZESA employees: Some of the interviewees
revealed that ZESA officials are very uncooperative and hostile whenever
they attempt seeking detailed explanations on their accounts. Residents in
the area have resorted to bribing ZESA employees around $30.00 to avoid
disconnection of electricity. Several residents have done this in the
community and continue to fall prey to the ZESA employees.
Transition to multicurrency system: Although the ZESA Public Relations
Officer, Mr Fullard Gwasira reported to HRT Communications Officer, Mr
Shingayi Jena that ZESA indicated that ZESA scrapped off debts from
residents accounts following the transition from the Zimbabwe dollar era to
the multi-currency regime in February 2009, residents in the area are of the
view that the transition was ill- managed and lacked transparency. From the
residents’ viewpoint, the debts have accumulated largely due to estimated
billing, the manipulated transition from the local currency to the
multi-currency system, and the interest charged on overdue accounts.
Current situation: HRT offices are overwhelmed by residents who have ZESA
complaints and they require ZESA’s assistance. The HRT Membership Desk is
receiving reports of unprofessional conduct by the Harare ZESA Sales
Managers specifically the ZESA Sales Manager who are telling referred
clients that they are not prepared to read HRT referral letters in which the
HRT writes to seek their intervention on individual cases. ZESA is saying
that residents whose electricity was disconnected are supposed to settle
their bills in full. According to one female client this morning, the ZESA
sales manager told her that he was not going to read her letter. She
mentioned that she is prepared to pay $50.00 per month. She was advised
that she could pay the $50.00 per month until her debt is cleared then her
electricity would be reconnected. Last week, some clients were assisted by
the Sales Manager but it was upon payment of 25% of the debt which was
reduced to the previous 50% requirement. There is growing tension between
ZESA and the residents of Glen Norah. Some residents have resorted to
reconnecting power illegally which is contrary to the HRT policy. They have
and are also using the few dollars they had reserved to paying their
electricity for other pressing needs at household level.
If the situation continues, ZESA employees face the risk of experiencing a
backlash from disgruntled residents. It is up to ZESA to treat residents
with respect or regret their uncalled for actions. It is time to change the
approach or be forced to change the approach! The choice is for ZESA to
This will not benefit ZESA or the resident. We need to be realistic to
address residents’ needs as well as the capacity needs of ZESA as the
ZESA seals US$230m India deal
THE Zimbabwe Power Company has signed a $230 million memorandum of
understanding with India’s Wapcos Ltd to overhaul the country’s three
The plants covered are Bulawayo, Hwange and Munyati, Zimbabwe Power, the
power generating unit of Zesa Holdings (Pvt) Ltd., said in a newsletter
The memorandum also includes a feasibility study for the Gairezi hydro-power
station and upgrading the Deka pumping station for Hwange Power Station,
It didn’t say when the agreement was signed.
The power utility is struggling to meet national demand with supplies being
rationed to both commercial and domestic users.
Zesa currently generates about 1,116 megawatts of electricity today against
a national demand of between 1,900 to 2,200 megawatts and tries to plug the
gap with imports from regional suppliers.
Govt to restructure energy sector
Written by Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:40
HARARE - Zimbabwe plans to restructure its energy sector and make way for
independent power distribution firms, Zesa Holdings (Zesa) chief executive
Josh Chifamba said.
He told a Thursday Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Annual General
Meeting, the move was in line with government’s plans to improve utility
services while establishing an independent power regulator.
“There is a lot of progress on that and I wouldn’t want to pre-empt it (but)
there is a whole white paper on that and the minister is supposed to present
it to cabinet,” Chifamba said without giving specifics of the proposed new
The energy sector is currently regulated by Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory
The Zesa chief’s remarks came after Francis Masawi, an engineer and regional
independent energy consultant, argued there was an imminent need to
restructure the country’s power sector.
He said the current single buyer model-only by Zimbabwe Electricity
Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC)-was an impediment to
investment in the energy sector.
“Imagine you have a private production company and you want to sell to a
sole buyer that is owed $500 million by their consumers, how
are they likely to pay,” Masawi said.
“That thing (the single buyer model) must be done away with; it doesn’t
exist in the Act. It was only transitional.”
Masawi said Zesa should assume a role of shareholder only.
He said competition should be introduced in the supply side of electricity
just as it is required in the petroleum sector.
“Whatever the reason, the current structure has failed to resuscitate the
Zimbabwe currently has capacity to generate about 1 200 MW of
electricity, mainly from Kariba Hydro Power Station and Hwange Power Station
(HPS) compared to a rising national demand of around 2 200MW.
The country’s generation capacity is now half of what it used to be in 1980
when the economy and population was smaller.
New projects that are meant to improve the current deficit position could
take longer to commence after potential takers for the country’s HPS
rehabilitation project asked for a one month extension on the June 5,
Chifamba said this would delay adjudication of tender to restore HPS unit
seven and eight to end of July.
“If we get to a financial close by the end of the year then by early 2016
there should be something coming out of the two projects,” he said, adding
his organisation was aware of the anxiety among Zimbabweans for an immediate
power solution. Zesa, Chifamba said, was not spared by the country’s
decade-long economic stagnation and needs a lot of investment.
“The state of the equipment at all levels is appalling and dangerous.
That explains the number of accidents we are having now.”
In February government announced plans to unbundle the Zimbabwe Electricity
Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) into two separate entities to
improve operating efficiency.
ZETDC is responsible generating, transmitting and distributing power and was
formed in 2002 after government unbundled ZETDC into different companies
The Electricity Act ushered in the formation of five successor companies,
the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Company
(Zetco), Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZEDC), Zesa Enterprises
and Powertel Communications.
ZEDC’s business is the distribution and retail of electricity to the final
In line with the approved structure, all power generation assets and
operations are under ZPC.
Zesa Enterprises, another subsidiary of Zesa Holdings comprises of four
business units namely Zesa Technology Centre, Production and Services,
Transport Logistics and Projects.
It is a flexible investment arm for Zesa Holdings that has a diversified
‘Zesa abandons load shedding schedule’
Saturday, 02 June 2012 18:09
POWER supply remains erratic in most parts of Harare with the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) failing to stick to a load shedding
schedule it published in the media recently, seriously affecting many
Despite the long hours of power cuts, residents complain of exorbitant bills
at the end of every month. The cost of electricity is affecting thousands of
households as they have to buy paraffin and firewood at a higher cost, yet
still have to settle their bills.
Community coordinator, Ronia Gwaze, said that residents of Vainona and
Hatcliffe suburbs had electricity cut off recently due to unpaid electricity
bills. Abrupt power outages have resulted in electrical gadgets being
damaged. In Vainona, a house at 14114 Tern Avenue was gutted by fire caused
by a burst paraffin stove during one of the numerous power outages. Some
residents have resorted to using generators or solar lights because of the
constant power cuts.
Water supplies in Waterfalls remain poor with most areas going without the
commodity for several days. During the past week, several residents had
their water disconnected by the City of Harare yet supplies are erratic. The
water bills are so high that most residents feel they are unjustified.
Residents in Glen View are receiving water three times a week. Given this
situation, residents have to queue at the few boreholes sunk by humanitarian
Women and school-going children wake up very early to line up for water and
at times are bullied at the boreholes. Some residents in areas without the
boreholes have dug shallow wells which are unprotected, raising fears of
Health and Environment
Refuse is not being collected in Mbare National and Mbare Musika. The same
situation prevails in Waterfalls at shopping centres such as Park Town and
Zindoga business centre. Residents of Hatcliffe Extension have resorted to
burying or burning rubbish in pits.
This is quite the opposite of what is happening in Hatcliffe 1, where there
is frequent refuse collection. Refuse is supposed to be collected every
Saturday in Glen View but they hardly come. This has led to residents
throwing rubbish everywhere in the area, along the roads and on street
Residents in most parts of Harare pay for their plumbing services if they
experience blocked sewer pipes on their premises. This is despite that
council plumbers are supposed to provide that service to the residents. — By
Harare Residents Trust (HRT)
17 hours of load-shedding in Zim
Eyewitness News | Today,
JOHANNESBURG - Reports from Zimbabwe say Harare residents face a miserable
weekend without water, power, and in some cases, beer too.
Some suburbs are now going for 17 hours without power per day, just as the
cold weather is kicking in.The state-run ZESA power company recently
introduced massive load-shedding.Employers are now allowed to dock money
from their employees' salaries, to make up for non-productive hours.Water
supply is erratic still, with Harare's eastern suburbs reported to be
affected the worst.
And now, beer shortages have kicked in. Street vendors are cashing in
by buying all scarce stock available, so they can push up the price on the
Winter Load Shedding Programme
Please click here to open this document
Mozambique Threatens Power Cuts To Zimbabwe
HARARE, May 16 (Bernama) - Mozambique's Cabora Bassa Hydro Electricity
Company is threatening to further reduce or suspend power exports to
Zimbabwe over ZESA Holdings' huge debt, a senior government official said
Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hubert Nyanhongo
told New Ziana news agency that Zesa Holdings owes the Mozambican utility
US$80 million and is servicing its debt too slowly.
However, he said Zimbabwe is committed to repaying its debt in spite of
financial challenges facing ZESA Holdings.
Cabora Bassa has in the past reduced power supplies to Zimbabwe over the
ZESA imports power from neighbouring countries to bridge a shortfall in
domestic generation and with the onset of the winter season, the country's
power deficit has slightly increased as power demand rises.
Nyanhongo said in most cases, only three out of the six power generating
units at Hwange were functional.
The power utility is currently seeking a partner to build two new generation
units at Hwange.
Zimbabwe braces for daily 9-hour power outages amid winter weather
Zimbabwe braces for daily 9-hour power outages amid winter weather
By Associated Press, Published: May 13
HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s state power company says it is implementing
power cuts of at least nine hours a day as the winter season begins in the
southern African nation.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Company says the outages, known as load shedding,
will affect homes, businesses and industries across the nation. Only major
hospitals and strategic facilities will be excluded.
In a statement Sunday, the company said during colder months it can only
supply half the national demand for power. Demand peaks in winter.
It blamed breakdowns, aging equipment and financial problems that prevent
them from importing power from the region.
In years of economic meltdown, Zimbabwe suffered regular poorly managed
power outages of up to 20 hours a day while some areas escaped cuts because
of inefficiency. The state weather office has forecast near freezing lows in
Continuing power shortages cripple Zimbabwe economy
SPECIAL REPORT BY XINHUA CORRESPONDENT
HARARE (Xinhua) -- Power outages have been on the increase of late and
continue to cripple Zimbabwe ’s economy as the country’s debt-laden power
utility fails to adequately supply electricity to industry, commerce and
With the winter season fast approaching with its usual higher demand for
power than the other seasons, ZESA Holdings’ position is far from being
Apart from heating requirements by consumers to beat the cold, hundreds of
farmers also need electricity to irrigate winter wheat and keep other
operations on their farms running.
Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made
last week bemoaned the power shortages which he said would seriously affect
the revival of the agricultural sector and downstream industries.
“Can you imagine a seed company using generators to dry seed and still
expect to remain in business or sell the product at profitable prices?”
Made told The Herald that he was disappointed to note that some seed houses
were actually using generators to dry the seed because of the power cuts.
ZESA now risks the danger of being accused of derailing the winter wheat
season, even in cases where farmers fail to plant for other reasons.
Even though Made has expressed his disappointment over the power cuts,
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has already said that the power deficit would
persist for the foreseeable future - notwithstanding the on-going
rehabilitation program at power stations.
While billions of U.S. dollars are required to fully refurbish and upgrade
current power stations, the government only availed 40 million dollars for
energy programs in 2011, with an average generation of 1,105 megawatts (MW)
realized against an envisaged capacity of 1,600.
An increased output of 1,244 is now envisaged for 2012, compared to demand
of 2,200 MW required to fire all the sectors of the economy.
Under the 2012 budget, Biti allocated nearly 55 million dollars towards the
rehabilitation of Hwange and Kariba power stations and the transmission and
An injection of 1 billion dollars for the construction of new generation
plants at Hwange Thermal Power Station and another 400 million dollars to
expand Kariba South (Hydro) will create an additional 900 MW and satisfy the
country’s short term needs, but the government does not have such a huge
Limited finances have also hampered the utility’s ability to import from
neighboring utilities such as Mozambique ’s Hydroelectrica de Cahora Bassa,
to which it is battling to clear an 80 million dollars debt.
At midday, the utility was producing a total of 1,087 MW with Hwange Thermal
Power Station, which has a potential of 920 MW, producing 392 MW while
Kariba hydro was producing 615 MW from a potential of about 740 MW.
The load shedding status was at the highest level of severe. The utility has
five statuses—minimal, light, moderate, heavy and severe.
Zimbabwe recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Zambia to
jointly construct the 4-billion-dollar 1,650 MW at Batoka Hydro-power
project on the Zambezi River .
However, work on the project will only begin after Zimbabwe pays, or makes a
strong commitment to pay off more than 70 million dollars it owes Zambia
from the sale of the Central African Power Corporation assets which had been
jointly owned by the two countries. The debt is supposed to be paid off in
Generally, Zimbabwe has been engaged primarily in rehabilitating
infrastructure as opposed to construction of new power stations.
More efficient use of power through the replacement of incandescent bulbs
with energy savers, installation of pre-paid meters, among others, will also
result in a saving of 300 MW which can be channeled to the productive
The government has already removed duty on the importation of energy saving
bulbs to promote their usage.
Why we’re stuck in the dark
Don’t know about you but 16 hour long power cuts are starting to get me
down. This update from the Zimbabwe Power Company helps to explain the
current spate of bad power:
It is with regret that I advise of the fact that we (Zimbabwe Power
Company) lost the four producing units at Hwange Power Station yesterday
afternoon (Wednesday 25th April). One unit was brought back onto the grid
last night and we hope to bring a second, larger unit, back around 4am
tomorrow (Friday 26th April). Repair on the third unit is scheduled for
completion such that it will be ‘returned to service’ on Saturday morning.
Two phase one (smaller) units are having their rotors re-wired in South
Africa – this is major work.
Kariba has five units on line with the sixth due back on the grid in
mid-May after routine, but critical, maintenance ahead of winter.
The Hwange and Kariba expansion plans remain on program at this time.
The tenders are out and close in June. this will be followed by 2 three
month periods for tender review and finalisation of funding/award.
Thereafter construction will take between three to four years (2016-17).
This entry was posted on April 27th, 2012 at 12:41 pm by Amanda Atwood
‘Huge Fault’ at Hwange Plant leaves Harare without power
By Tererai Karimakwenda
27 April 2012
A technical fault is said to be the cause of a power cut that left Harare
without power since very early Thursday morning. The state-owned Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) blamed a “huge fault” at the Hwange
thermal power plant for the problem, which forced many businesses to stop
operations and others to shut down.
ZESA is functioning with old equipment that has not been well maintained or
properly serviced since independence in 1980. Mismanagement and corruption,
which have destroyed other parastatals, are also contributing to the utility
company’s ongoing crisis. Many areas of the country go without power
regularly and power cuts have become a way of life.
ZESA is also owed millions of dollars by top government officials who have
received power for years without making payments. SW Radio Africa reported
earlier this month that the national power utility is under increasing
pressure to switch off these officials, with the first family being among
the worst offenders.
The Mugabe family reportedly owe ZESA more than US$300,000 as of December
2011. Despite this, ZESA has been cutting off power for the ordinary
citizens who are struggling to pay much less. Energy and Power Development
Minister Elton Mangoma has said ZESA is owed more than $140 million by
Human rights activist Tariro Manhendere told SW Radio Africa that although
some parts of the capital got power back Friday afternoon, many others, like
Kuwadzana and Dzivarasekwa, still had none. She said these areas experience
power cuts more frequently and for longer periods than the Central Business
Asked how bad this week has been in terms of power cuts, Manhendere said:
“It’s quite this frustrating. You can’t plan anything, especially those that
are in home industries who have no choice.”
The frustrated activist said vendors who sell products that need
refrigeration, like meat, lose money when their products go bad but out of
desperation sometimes still try to sell them.
More repairs to the aging equipment at Hwange Power Station were expected
over the weekend and reports quoted ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira as
saying: “Technicians and engineers are working flat out to fix the problem.
Zimbabwe's Power Outages to Worsen as Gov't Negotiates With Mozambique
02 April 2012
ZESA is owed more that $550 million by customers and Mangoma said
disconnections of defaulters over the next few days will help raise the
money needed to reduce the debt with Mozambique
Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington
Zimbabwe's Energy Minister Elton Mangoma says the country's power utility,
ZESA, needs to raise $40 million by the end of the month to reduce its $80
million debt with Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa, which last month reduced
power supplies to Harare citing non-payment.
Mangoma said intensified disconnections of defaulters would help raise the
money. He said the country's power supply situation could worsen over the
Easter break if ZESA fails to raise the funds by Friday.
The minister, who held meetings in Maputo last week with his Mozambican
counterpart and the country's energy officials, told the VOA that Cahora
Bassa wants Harare to pay at least $40 million dollars before it can up
power supplies to Harare.
“They agreed to increase power supply once we have made our payment," said
Mangoma. "They expecting us to bring our debt to below $40 million and they
said that is when the power supply would be increased for us.”
“For us to have reduced load-shedding during the holidays, it all depends on
whether we are able to mobilize the required resources by Friday," said the
ZESA is owed more that $550 million by customers. Mangoma said
disconnections of defaulters over the next few days will help raise the
money needed to reduce the debt with Mozambique.
“What this means is more power disconnections for everyone,” he said.
“Although I cannot disclose the amount we have at the moment, we are also
going to apply multiple methods to raise the money and Government also has
to look for other alternatives like loans or where to borrow,” the minister
Load-shedding could worsen: Mangoma
by Staff Reporter
POWER supply problems could worsen across the country over Easter unless the
US$76 million debt owed to suppliers in Mozambique is significantly reduced,
a cabinet minister has warned.
Energy Minister, Elton Mangoma said Zimbabwe needs to reduce its debt to
under US$40 million by Friday to ensure the current power supply problems do
not get worse.
“They (Mozambique) agreed to increase power supply once we have made our
payment. They expecting us to bring our debt to below US$40 million and they
said that is when the power supply would be increased for us,” Mangoma told
the state-owned Herald newspaper.
“For us to have reduced load-shedding during the holidays, it all depends on
whether we are able to mobilise the required resources by Friday.
“If that is not the case, it means the situation would remain the same and
we will continue with the power outages until we set off what we owe.”
Mangoma said ZESA – which is owed more that US$550 million by customers --
would step-up disconnections of defaulters over the next few days to help
raise the money needed to reduce the debt with Mozambique.
“What this means is more power disconnections for everyone,” he said.
“Although I cannot disclose the amount we have at the moment, we are also
going to apply multiple methods to raise the money and Government also has
to look for other alternatives like loans or where to borrow.”
Zimbabwe generates 1,300MW of electricity which was way short of the daily
national requirement of about 2,200 megawatts.
The country has plugged the gap with imports from regional suppliers but
many have cut back supplies due to payment problems.
The shortages have forced ZESA to ration supplies to both commercial and
domestic users with some areas going for more than 10 hours per day without
Zimbabwe shortlists bids for enlarging power plants
Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:05pm GMT
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has short-listed eleven bidders for the
expansion of its Hwange and Kariba South power plants, with a winner
expected to be announced in the third quarter of this year, its energy
minister said on Tuesday.
It has been battling power shortages due to growing demand and ageing
plants, limiting supplies to industry and the key mining sector. Zimbabwe
produces around 1,000 MW of electricity, compared with peak demand of 2,200
The extension of the Hwange thermal power station will add 600 megawatts
(MW) to the Zimbabwean national grid, while the extension of the Kariba
South hydro plant will add 300 MW.
Elton Mangoma said companies from China, India, South Korea, Italy and
Brazil were among the shortlisted and the firms have until the first week in
June to submit a detailed proposal.
"I'm hoping that it will not take more than three months to adjudicate and
thereafter award the tender. We are hoping that in the fourth quarter we can
move on the projects," he told Reuters on the sidelines of an African power
conference in Johannesburg.
Mangoma said additional units at the two plants will be operated in a
public-partnership between the Zimbabwe government and whoever is chosen to
build the plants.
The minister said Zimbabwe still owed around $85 million in unpaid power
imports, mainly to neighbouring Mozambique.
Mangoma said he was meeting Mozambican officials on Thursday to address the
issue, especially after Mozambique halved its exports to Zimbabwe to 50 MW
due to the unpaid bills.
The minister said that together with neighbouring Zambia his country had in
February decided to revive the Batoka Gorge hydroelectric power project,
estimated to cost $2.5 billion, and expected to supply a total of 1,600 MW
to the two countries.
The two neighbours will look for an independent power producer to construct
the plant on a build-operate-transfer basis.
The 1,600 MW, which could later be upscaled to 2,000 MW, would be evenly
split between the two countries, he said.
Mangoma said the project was in the preliminary stages and it would be too
early to comment on time lines.
In the meantime, the minister hoped to convince utilities in the region to
boost trade of electricity during off-peak times to alleviate the most
- Zesa scam divides government
- Energy Minister Promises Improvement Soon in Delivery
- Outrage over hefty allowances for ZESA executives
- Heads to roll at ZESA
- ZESA to ease load-shedding: Mangoma
- Mugabe attacks Mangoma over leak of ZESA bills
- Mugabe fumes over Zesa bill
- Defaulting Cabinet Ministers Negotiate to Settle Huge Electricity Bills
- Farmers Engage Zimbabwe Power Utility Over Huge Outstanding Bills
- Power cut hits Mugabe office, city