Moz cuts power to Zimbabwe
March 15 2012 at 02:27pm
Mozambique has cut off electricity supply to Zimbabwe over unpaid debts
totalling $75 million, causing rolling power outages, Zimbabwe's energy
minister said on Thursday.
“Hydro Cabora Bassa switched off supplies to Zimbabwe on Thursday or Friday
last week over the money owed which is around $75 million or $76 million,”
Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma told AFP.
“We are now switching off defaulters as part of efforts to raise the money,”
Since Mozambique's Hydro cut off Zimbabwe, several suburbs of the capital
Harare have gone for days without electricity, while other places suffer up
to 10 hours of power cuts, as the utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority (ZESA) comes under pressure to save power.
Zimbabwe needs 2 200 megawatts of electricity at peak but generates just 1
300 megawatts and imports the remainder, including 100 to 185 megawatts from
Hydro Cahora Bassa.
Last month, Mangoma warned a parliamentary committee that Zimbabwe risked
being cut off if it failed to settle its debt with Hydro.
He said ZESA had accumulated almost a billion dollars in unpaid electricity
imports, unserviced loans and outstanding contributions to a joint power
project with neighbouring Zambia.
The firm also plans to introduce pre-paid meters to improve its revenue
Last year ZESA announced it would hand out more than 5.5 million
power-saving fluorescent light bulbs to households across the country to
curb consumption. - AFP
Chegutu man gets ten years in jail for reconnecting ZESA
By Tererai Karimakwenda
07 March, 2012
The recent case of a Chegutu resident, hit with a ten-year jail sentence for
reconnecting his electricity, has highlighted the desperation of many who
are being disconnected by the power authority for non-payment of bills.
According to the state run Herald newspaper, Chegutu resident Obvious
Muposiwa owed money to ZESA and was first disconnected on February 8th. He
reconnected his electricity as soon as the technician left, but this re-
connection was soon discovered.
A second worker was dispatched to remove the circuit breaker in an effort to
ensure that Muposiwa got no power at all. But the desperate 31 year old
reportedly used wires to connect directly to power supplies.
This time he was arrested and brought to court, where he was convicted of
“destroying or interfering with ZESA equipment” and was hit with a ten year
sentence by Chegutu magistrate Fabian Feshete.
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), who have been helping
disconnected residents to negotiate payment plans with ZESA, described the
sentence as “too harsh and too long” while also advising residents to avoid
illegal connections because they are dangerous.
“We sympathize with all residents. We do not support them connecting
themselves but we think a lesser sentence could have sent the message home,”
explained CHRA coordinator Mfundo Mlilo, who added that Muposiwa’s case was
“a sign of desperation”.
Online readers who commented on the harsh sentence given the Chegutu
resident expressed shock and anger, criticizing ZESA for cutting off poor
people why politicians and influential chefs got better treatment. Others
accused ZESA workers of stealing cables without being punished and
soliciting bribes from poor residents.
One reader wrote: “What about comrade Chombo? Has he settled his bill? And
other big chefs who thought being ZANU masks you from any debt due? The jail
sentence is too harsh. This offence deserves a 3-month term not 10
Another wrote: “ZESA employees using electricity for free yet there are
being paid monthly salaries. ZESA should be sued for forcing communities to
pay towards the repair of vandalized transformers by deliberately taking
ages to repair them…”
Mlilo at CHRA said ZESA has been disconnecting residents despite the fact
that they themselves have not been providing consistent power supplies.
Asked what residents can do if they owe money, he advised that they
negotiate a payment plan before electricity is disconnected, or in order to
“If the payment plans are not honoured we encourage residents to approach
our offices or our local district coordinators,” Mlilo explained. He said
ZESA has so far been honouring the payment plans and sparing many residents
from disconnection. A few cases in Warren Park and Sunningdale were wrongly
disconnected and CHRA mediated their reconnection.
Internet in Zimbabwe still affected by cable damage
By Lance Guma
06 March 2012
Internet users in Zimbabwe, including Internet Service Providers (ISP’s)
served by TelOne, are still getting slow and intermittent internet service,
three weeks after two separate shipping accidents severed a crucial internet
and phone link for the region.
In one of the accidents, a ship dragging its anchor off the coast of the
Kenyan port city of Mombasa severed an undersea cable that cut off some nine
African countries, including Zimbabwe. Repairs are still underway amid
concerns it could take engineers up to a month to complete the work.
Another cable severed in two is known as EASSy and is owned by the West
Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC). The WIOCC is jointly owned by 14 major
telecom operators in Africa, including Zimbabwe’s TelOne. Experts say
Zimbabwe has been hardest hit by the accident which cut the cable.
SW Radio Africa correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us internet speeds during
the day were now slow and many people were waiting to go online in the
evening when speeds appeared faster. Technology website Tech Zim report that
other internet providers, using alterative international cables, have not
Tech Zim quoted sources who said: “Liquid Telecom and PowerTel, the other
two international bandwidth resellers in Zimbabwe, have not been affected by
the EASSy outage or the increased load on SEACOM (another cable) due to
traffic from the failed cables that’s been rerouted to it.”
The company responsible for the EASSy cable however is not happy with the
press reports and believe the media are exaggerating the impact. The company
said although the cable suffered a cut it only affected, “the section of
cable between Port Sudan and Djibouti…and impact on customers has been
But Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Minister Nelson Chamisa
told SW Radio Africa that his ministry was inundated with complaints from
people complaining about poor internet speeds: “I have instructed officials
in my ministry to get in touch with those responsible to speedily resolve
Electricity Supply and Service Delivery
by the Hon. Minister of Energy and Power Development
The essence of this press conference is to acquaint you with the position of
the electricity supply situation, service delivery by the power utility,
setting the record straight on the disconnection of non-paying customers,
position of electricity imports and the general relationship with suppliers
of electricity imports.
There is a need for electricity consumers to pay for what they have consumed
so that Zesa has capacity to increase electricity availability to all
consumers. This is then done through more rigorous maintenance, increased
imports and installation of new capacity.
It is very disheartening to note that there are still customers who have not
paid at all since the advent of dollarisation in 2009, but yet these people
still expect to benefit from uninterrupted power supplies, part of which is
imported from the region.
This culture of non payment of bills will not be allowed to continue. I take
this opportunity to thank and applaud those customers paying their bills.
Zesa has intensified efforts to collect outstanding bills. The programme is
critical for sustaining operations i.e. carrying out maintenance, and
supporting the importation of electricity. There are prospects for
increasing imports from new stations being developed in the region.
Zesa is currently in discussions with the concerned developers and has to
position itself as a credit worthy off taker to be able to tap from these
sources. I therefore urge all our customers to pay their bills on time and
to bring all their accounts up to date.
We have to come out of the vicious circle where because bills are not paid,
supply reliability is compromised, and maintenance cannot be carried out and
imports cannot be paid for. Payment of bills is very important as we take
measures to build new power stations. We cannot raise funds to build new
power stations when the current of non payment prevails.
Zesa has availed to customers a facility to propose workable plans, and
regrettably some customers have chosen either to ignore this or not to
honour their payment plans, leaving Zesa with no option except to withdraw
Disconnections of electricity
The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has
intensified credit control to all defaulting customers so as to encourage
them to settle their outstanding amounts.
It is important to note that disconnection of electricity supplies should
always be undertaken as a last resort action after non-payment of bills and
failure to proffer credible payment plans.
Power connections are currently being applied wholesomely to ensure that all
customer categories meet their obligation of paying for service rendered.
ALL CUSTOMERS currently in arrears run the risk of disconnections. ZETDC is
owed over US$450 million by customers, revenue that could be used to pay for
electricity imports, purchasing of spares for infrastructural maintenance,
fund for coal deliveries, among other areas for the good of the nation.
However, disconnections in future will be done after providing a
disconnection notice for a period of at least five days.
Accuracy of bills
It has come to my attention that some of the bills are not accurate and in
some cases fraudulent. I have instructed Zesa to attend to all queries that
the customers have so that they are satisfied with the accuracy of their
bills. I have been assured that the bills do not include pre-dollarisation
consumption. Those not clear should have their bills verified.
For the avoidance of doubt, this is the policy that Zesa is going to
implement to address the debtors position.
To avoid disconnection, or for those who have been disconnected, so as to be
- A minimum down payment of 25 percent of the total bill has to be paid.
- Balance to be paid in an approved payment plan with Zesa for a period not
exceeding six months.
- Any customer who breaches the payment plan will be disconnected
immediately without further notice.
- Current bills to be paid in full.
As a ministry, we have taken a position that all defaulting customers will
have their service withdrawn as an encouragement for them to pay up their
bills. This policy will be applied to all customers fairly, without fear or
favour. May I make it clear that the current disconnection exercise is not
Customer service issues:
The ministry has received calls of poor customer relations by some staff
members of the ZETDC wherein frontline are vindictive where disconnections
are being done without due processes being followed and where some employees
are conniving with customers to prejudice the power utility of its
much-needed revenue, among other unbecoming behaviour. May I make it clear
that such unbecoming behaviour and bad customer relations will lead to
severe reprimand, including immediate dismissals, as such elements have no
place in such a critical organisation to the socio-economic fabric of the
Zesa Holdings has always enjoyed cordial relations with Hydro Cahorra Basa
(HCB) for the provision of power imports. Plans have been put in place to
ensure that Zesa conforms to an agreed payment plan. Currently the debt
stands at about US$80 million, down from about US$100 million a few months
ago. A further payment of US$40 million is planned for in the near future
and arrangements for this are at an advanced stage. The HCB debt is to be
serviced well if we are to avoid disconnection. A delegation of HCB is
coming this Sunday for further negotiations with Zesa and we need to provide
a concrete payment plan.
ZETDC recently concluded contract negotiations with successful bidders on
the prepaid metering project. The installation will be done by the meter
suppliers and this strategy is to ensure that the roll out takes place
within the shortest possible time and the plan is to have the meters
installed over a period of 18 months. The meters being procured will put to
rest the issue of customer complaints as regards billing bills perceived as
huge, and allow customers to manage their consumption. Zesa has since
exhausted the 10 000 prepaid meters it had in its inventory and is
concluding negotiations with four suppliers of meters over installation.
Expansion projects (Batoka Gorge)
At the 29th ZRA Council of Ministers Meeting (COM) the issues regarding the
ex-CAPCCO assets debt and the Batoka Hydro Power Project were discussed and
concluded as follows:
Zambia accepted the payment of the principal debt amount of US$70.8 million
by 31 March 2014. A Settlement Agreement for the ex-CAPCCO assets debt was
signed by the two governments. The COM agreed that a Committee led by the
Zambezi River Authority and including officials from the two ministries
responsible for energy immediately start taking steps to implement the
Batoka Gorge project. The ministry is setting up a project implementation of
the Batoka Hydro Power Project. The first objective is to set up agreed
timelines and terms for engaging Independent Power Producers to enable the
Authority to call for expressions of interest or going to international
tender as soon as possible. Batoka Gorge will produce 1600 to 2000 MW of
power, 50 percent of which will be for Zimbabwe.
I thank you.
MDC Information & Publicity Department
Zesa mum on chefs’ electricity bills
By Sharon Muguwu, Staff Writer
Monday, 20 February 2012 14:31
HARARE - State power utility Zesa Holdings has refused to explain its
stratification that has seen cabinet ministers and other top government
officials owing thousands of dollars in electricity bills exempt from
There seems to be a conspiracy of silence between the relevant minister
Elton Mangoma and Zesa Holdings as they are throwing the matter to each
Mangoma told a parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy last
week that Zesa Holdings is moving to disconnect legislators that had
defaulted on the power bills.
The threat prompted counter-accusations from the Mines and Energy committee
chairman Edward Chindori-Chininga that the permanent secretary in the
ministry of Energy and Power Development Justin Mupamhanga actually owed
Zesa Holdings more than $30 000 and he was not switched off.
He further said Chris Mushohwe, the Manicaland governor owed well in excess
of $100 000 but he was not switched off.
The disclosures provoked furious responses from Zesa Holdings’ ratepayers
who protested the stratification of customers in terms of disconnections.
The revelations come at a time the company has been switching off ordinary
people for bills as low as $50.
Fullard Gwasira, the company spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.
“On that issue, I have nothing to say. You will have to talk to the minister
of Energy as he knows what will be done,” he said.
The minister was also tongue-tied when asked by Chindori-Chininga why the
chefs were being exempt from the disconnections.
Ruvimbo Moyo, a Harare ratepayer expressed disgust at the disclosures.
“It is really unfair what these people are doing,” she quipped. “Last year I
owed Zesa (Holdings) $70 which I had been trying to clear since
dollarisation and they switched me off.
“I was appalled when I learnt that these top officials owe Zesa that much.
It is just unfair and all of them have backup generators at their homes.
Honestly how does a bill run up to $30 000 and Zesa do nothing about it?”
The ordinary residents have had to contend with rolling power outages and
At the beginning of this month, Mozambique’s Hydro Cabora Bassa threatened
to stop supplies to Zimbabwe over a mounting debts estimated at $94 million
for electricity imports.
Zesa Holdings owes about $800 million in legacy debts, but Mangoma said the
utility does not have money to settle the bill.
Essar Africa To End Zim’s Electricity Woes
Bulawayo, February 18, 2012- Essar Africa Holdings Limited (EAHL), an Indian
steel making company has applied to the government to construct and operate
a 600 Megawatt (MW) station to generate and supply electricity across the
According to a notice by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA),
the proposed electricity generation station by EAHL will be situated in the
Sinamatela area, about 2kilometres from the Hwange airstrip.
EAHL is a subsidiary of subsidiary of the Indian based Essar Group that
snatched 60 percent shareholding in the ailing Zimbabwe Iron and Steel
Company (ZISCO) that amounts to 53 percent stake-in a partnership deal that
seeks to revive operations at the steel company.
“Notice is hereby given that the ZERA has received an application from Essar
Africa Holdings Limited (EAHL) to construct, own, operate and maintain a 600
MW generation station for the purpose of generation and supply of
electricity in Zimbabwe.
“This is in terms of the provisions of the Electricity Act (Chapter 13; 19)
of 2002 section 40 as read with statutory instrument 103 of 2008
(Electricity Licensing Regulations),” a notice by the ZERA reads in part.
The application comes at a time when the country’s power utility is scouting
for international investors to fund a US$1.3 billion expansion programme
meant to end the country’s worsening electricity shortages.
ZESA is generating only up to 1200 megawatts against daily demand of between
1900 and 2200 MW.
Energy problems caused by ZESA’s failure to generate enough electricity are
among the key challenges said to be holding back the country’s economic
Since the turn of the new millennium, the country has struggled with
intensifying blackouts of up to 18 hours a day.
The power cuts have plunged many factories and homes into darkness, as
demand outstrips supply.′
Various high energy consuming industries have been forced to invest in
expensive alternatives such as generators.
Kariba Dam Wall On Zimbabwe Side Risk Collapsing:Mangoma
Harare, February 13, 2012 - The dam wall on the Zimbabwean side on one of
the world biggest dams, Kariba is weak and requires urgent repairs to
prevent the wall from collapsing, Energy and Power Development Minister
Elton Mangoma said Monday.
Mangoma who was presenting the state of the energy sector in the country to
the Mines and Ernegy parlimentary portfolio committee said the Kariba dam
wall on the Zimbabwean side needs to be anchored to prevent the wall from
collapsing that might affect the dam and power generation.
"I repeat that the wall on the Zimbabwean side is weak and requires
anchoring and this is being attended to.It is something that is high on the
agenda because without the dam wall you really have nothing," Mangoma said.
The Kariba dam on the Zambezi River is one of the largest dams in the world,
standing 128 m tall and 579 m long. The dam was built by Italians between
1955 and 1959 during the colonial time when Zimbabwe was still called
Rhodesia. It borders with Zimbabwe's northern neighbour Zambia which also
generates electricity on the dam.
At the time of the construction of the dam several people and animals were
killed forcing authorities to embark on an "Operation Noah" aimed at saving
thousands of animals while over 57 000 people were relocated to safer areas
away from the flooding rising water.
Mangoma said his ministry is coordinating efforts to anchor the dam wall
adding that power generation at Kariba Hydro power station at the moment has
been between 735 Megawatts to 750 Megawatts.
Mangoma taken to task
By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 14:58
HARARE - Mines and Energy parliamentary portfolio committee chairman Edward
Chindori-Chininga yesterday took Energy minister Elton Mangoma to task for
allowing his permanent secretary to continue defaulting on an electricity
bill of more than $30 000 that he accrued at his home.
The allegation arose after Mangoma threatened to cut power supplies to
defaulting legislators’ homes.
The committee was receiving oral evidence from the minister on challenges in
power generation when Mangoma touched a raw nerve by alleging that
“honourable members” were not paying their power bills, and were among
defaulters that currently owe the state utility $400m.
“On customers, we have about $400m owed by customers including some
honourable members,” Mangoma told the committee.
“What are we doing about it? I have agreed with Zesa that we will start
disconnecting honourable members,” the minister added, to howls of protest
from legislators in the senate chamber.
“Be careful,” interjected Chindori-Chininga, a member of President Robert
Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.
Chindori-Chininga then challenged Mangoma to name the legislators,
intimating that he was under legislative oath to qualify his allegations
“I will check what the rules are, you might actually want to give us a list
of who in Parliament owes what amounts (to Zesa). I will ask the chief whip
and Clerk of Parliament to tell us what the rules are,” Chindori-Chininga
Mangoma had a torrid time explaining his permanent secretary’s behaviour.
The fiery Chindori-Chininga said the permanent secretary Justin Mupamhanga
had no moral authority over the State power utility and that the senior
ministry officials must lead by example.
Asked to comment on allegations that Mupamhanga owed Zesa over $30 000 in
unpaid electricity bills, Mangoma said: “I am not sure about the exact
figure but I am aware that he owes, yes.
“And he is supposed to be a policy person directing Zesa what to do?”
Chindori-Chininga fired the next question. “How does he make a directive to
Zesa when he owes money Zesa?”
Mangoma explained that ministerial directives to Zesa did not originate from
the permanent secretary or the accounting officer but from him.
Then Chindori-Chininga took it a notch up: “We are also told the governor of
Manicaland (Chris Mushohwe) owes more than $100 000 (to Zesa).”
Mangoma did not answer the question.
“In Cabinet, you guys owe a lot of money to Zesa and if you want us to give
names we will, okay,” Chindori-Chininga said.
Parliament instructed Mangoma to boost power generation and rectify the
problems, and said it would be monitoring the situation to ensure this
But he said the utility was saddled with debt.
“Zesa owes about $800m in old debts. Some of these are being carried in the
Hwange books. In the end, it’s still a debt that Zesa owes and at this stage
with the cash inflows of Zesa, there is no possibility of repaying them,” he
Zimbabwe's debt-crippled power utility plans to get tough
Feb 14, 2012, 15:18 GMT
Harare - Threatened with being cut off from electricity imports from its
neighbours for non-payment, Zimbabwe's state-owned power utility said on
Tuesday it would cut off hundreds of top politicians and civil servants who
refuse to pay their bills.
The move comes after Energy Minister Elton Mangoma was castigated in
parliament after reports that poor people were being disconnected from the
power grid for arrears as little as 30 dollars, while senior officials had
not been paying their electricity bills for years.
'We will start disconnecting all cabinet ministers and MPs (members of
parliament) who are not paying,' Mangoma said. 'There are no sacred cows.'
The minister said unpaid bills by top politicians and senior civil servants
accounted for a significant part of the 540 million dollars customers owed
to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA)
Coming in at the head of the list was a provincial governor, Christopher
Mushowe, who was said to owe ZESA 145,000 dollars. Mushowe did not respond
to requests for comment.
The ministry itself was said to be in the red to the tune of 30,000 dollars.
Mangoma's disclosures came as he warned that neighbouring Mozambique had
threatened to stop imports from its giant Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam for
non-payment of 90 million dollars.
'That is one debt that we have got to service because if we do not, our
major source of power will go away,' he said. Zambia is also owed 70 million
Zimbabwean homes, businesses and hospitals suffer long power cuts daily as
ZESA can produce only 1,300 megawatts each day. Average daily demand is
about 2,200 MW. The country has been turning to its neighbours for power
ZESA said it is planning to distribute 5.5 million energy-saving fluorescent
light bulbs, and is also introducing pre-paid electricity meters.
Zimbabwe power imports at risk
HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Feb 13 2012 18:14
Zimbabwe's energy minister warned on Monday that the country risks losing
electricity imports from its major supplier if it fails to pay a $90-million
debt to Mozambique's Hydro Cabora Bassa dam.
"That is one debt that we have got to service because if we do not service
it our major source of power will go away," Elton Mangoma told a committee
Mangoma said the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has piled up
almost a billion dollars in unpaid electricity imports, unserviced loans and
outstanding contributions to a joint power project with neighbour Zambia.
"At this stage with the cash flows of ZESA there is no possibility of
re-paying them. We are not planning in the short-term to have them repaid
but that treasury when they are looking at their debt management will be
able to look at that."
He said ZESA owes about $800-million of old loans, and $94-million in
electricity imports including about $90-million to Hydro Cabora Bassa, the
Mozambican hydroelectric dam that is its main supplier. It also owes
$70-million to Zambia.
Zimbabwe needs about 2 200 megawatts of electricity at peak but generates
just 1 300 megawatts, importing the remainder.
Mangoma said is owed ZESA $400-million in unpaid electricity bills by
consumers and announced plans to cut off defaulters.
ZESA plans to introduce pre-paid meters to improve its revenue and avoid
resorting to charges based on estimates.
Last year ZESA announced it would hand out more than 5.5-million
power-saving fluorescent light bulbs to households across the country to
End Zesa monopoly — Zerc
By Business Writer
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 11:32
HARARE - Zimbabwe should licence independent power producers to end Zesa
Holding’s dominance, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zerc) chairman
Canada Malunga says.
Malunga told a Parliamentary portfolio committee on mines and energy that
competition would allow an improvement in utility services and meet the
country’s growing electricity demands.
Zerc licensed five various independent power producers, but their combined
production remains too low to influence the power sector.
“At the moment we have one large producer and transmitter (so) in as much as
you may want to crack a huge whip it’s difficult,” Malunga said.
Operations at Zesa have continued to take a nose-dive with load shedding
increasing whilst the company’s debtor’s book continues to balloon.
Zesa’s debtors’ book is currently in excess of $500 million, an equivalent
of seven months of its total revenue according to Malunga.
Government institutions account for about $19 million of the debtors.
“What is worrying is that they are not able to collect that money,” he said.
“There are also leakages and one of the issues which we are fully backing is
the issue of installing prepaid meters.”
He said Zerc was willing to partner with the Zimbabwe Investment Authority
in trying to secure investments in power generation.
However, international investors have also adopted a wait-and-see attitude
on Zimbabwe given President Robert Mugabe’s persistent call for elections
and the ongoing indigenisation exercise which compels all foreign owned
firms to give at least 51 percent shareholding to Zimbabwean locals.
“Our intent is not to frustrate investors, we actually want to attract them”
said Malunga, adding that there are always concerns of expropriation arising
from the Indigenisation Act.
“Finance Minister (Tendai) Biti said in his budget there is need for policy
stability and political stability. In the event that we put a new tariff, to
what extent is it protected from being overturned.”
Malunga said there was need for assistance from the Finance ministry with
respect to guaranteeing tax and other financial incentives.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry has approached the courts seeking a
review of Zesa’s 37 percent tariff hike in September last saying it was
The industry body also argued Zesa has effected the new charges without
Zim power woes deepen as Mozambique threatens cut off
By Alex Bell
06 February 2012
Mozambique has threatened to cut off its power supplies to Zimbabwe, over
the country’s multimillion dollar debt to its neighbour, which could leave
Zimbabwe facing even more power problems.
Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Basa power plant supplies Zimbabwe with about 500
megawatts to cover shortfalls, with the national Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority (ZESA) battling to generate the growing demand of between 1900 and
2200 megawatts of power. ZESA is said to be generating only up to 1200
megawatts currently and has been importing power from neighbouring
Mozambique and from the DRC to cover the shortfall.
But the national power supplier has been unable to pay its debts and it has
since been reported that Mozambique was threatening to cut off its supplies.
ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira, who was quoted by CAJ news, said demand for
power was increasing and they were in the process of finding ways of
boosting power generation.
“ZESA Holdings, through its subsidiary companies the Zimbabwe Power Company
and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, are
pursuing various projects and measures to boost the electricity supply
situation in Zimbabwe to achieve security of power supply,” he said.
The country has been battling intermittent power supply for years, with ZESA
being just one of many national services that have all but collapsed after
years of mismanagement under the Mugabe regime.
Construction of new Zimbabwean power plant to start soon
Harare, Zimbabwe --- ESI-AFRICA.COM --- 24 January 2012 - The French
consortium which has been granted a licence by the Zimbabwean government to
build a US$3 billion thermal power plant in the country is in the process of
finalising preparations to commence construction.
Revealing this to New Ziana, energy and power development minister Elton
Mangoma said that
when complete, the 2,000MW project which was being rolled out over the next
four years was expected to alleviate the country's worsening power woes.
Currently, the country's sole power utility, Zesa Holdings, is producing
about 1,400MW against a national demand of over 2,000MW per day, leaving a
shortfall which has to be imported.
With the economy now recovering from a decade of contraction caused by
sanctions by some Western countries, demand for power is rocketing.
The new power station will be situated in the Lusulu coal fields at Binga,
in the Matabeleland North province of Zimbabwe. The coal fields have an
estimated 1.2 billion tonnes of coal reserves.
Minister Mangoma went on to say that more firms were showing interest in
investing in the country's power sector. “People are always making inquiries
and it is a good thing for our country that we have people willing to invest
in this sector. As Government we will always welcome new investment,” he
With Zimbabwe facing a critical shortage of power, the government is also
pursuing the expansion of the existing power stations at Hwange and Kariba
to boost supplies. The Batoka Gorge project is another one in the pipeline
set to offset the country's power woes once implemented.
Zimbabwe Power Demand to Rise 29% in 2012, Supply Authority Says
January 03, 2012, 12:00 PM EST
By Godfrey Marawanyika
Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s electricity demand is projected to increase
29 percent this year, boosted by the mining industry, the state power
Demand rose 6.2 percent last year from 2010, Fullard Gwasira, a spokesman
for the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, said by phone today from the
Zesa generates 900 megawatts to 1,200 megawatts compared with demand of
1,900 to 2,200 megawatts. The country imports 35 percent of its electricity
from Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo, yet fails to meet demand,
resulting in almost daily power cuts. Zimbabwe is the third-largest power
consumer in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa and Nigeria, according to
the World Bank.
The country’s economy is estimated to expand 9.4 percent in 2012, led by
growth in the finance and mining industries, Finance Minister Tendai Biti
said on Nov. 24. The economy was forecast to grow 9.3 percent in 2011, with
mining output climbing 26 percent as the nation attempts to recover from a
decade-long recession that ended in 2009, Biti said.
Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution, a unit of Zesa, said
power demand by mines in the nation’s northern region is expected to advance
22 percent in 2012.
“Developments in the mining sector include Maranatha Ferrochrome at 13
megavolt amperes, Mazoe gold mine at 5.5 megavolt amperes and RioZim Ltd. at
5 megavolt amperes,” Harare-based ZETDC said in a report handed to Bloomberg
Industry, Agriculture Demand
Maranatha is a closely held company. Mazoe is owned by South Africa’s
Metallon Corp. while RioZim was once controlled by Rio Tinto Plc.
Demand by the industrial sector is forecast to rise 55 percent while farms
will raise demand by 33 percent, ZETDC said.
In the nation’s southern region, the Mimosa mine, owned by Aquarius Platinum
Ltd. and Impala Platinum Ltd., plans to start using 15 megavolt amperes,
while the Wel mine, owned by Chinese investors, will need 5 megavolt
amperes, ZETDC said. Sino- Zimbabwe Ltd. of China is planning an additional
6 megavolt amperes.
ZESA owed over $500M in unpaid electricity bills
by Staff reporter
2011 December 22 23:41:15
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) Holdings has said it is owed
more than US$537 million in unpaid electricity bills by domestic,
industrial, mining and agricultural consumers as at the end of November.
Spokesperson Shepherd Mandizvidza said the power utility was failing to pay
for electricity imports to supplement local generation because of the amount
He said they were also failing to pay for coal for thermal power stations,
pay for water for Kariba Hydro Power Station and procure spares for
transmission and distribution infrastructure maintenance.
"Electricity is a key driver of the socio-economic spectrum and the failure
by some customers to heed the call to settle their electricity bills implies
that there would be depressed generation culminating in load shedding as the
power utility would not be adequately resourced to meet demand," said
"Zesa Holdings is determined to further revive the economy through adequate
supplies of electricity and it urges customers to meet their side of the
bargain by settling the bills."
ZETDC, a subsidiary of Zesa dealing with the distribution of electricity, is
encouraging customers who are facing challenges to settle their bills to
engage it for payment plans before disconnections are done.
Mandizvidza said many customers were not coming forward to discuss the
"Some customers still remain adamant and the power utility would have no
choice but to disconnect supplies to encourage them to pay their bills," he
said. "To that effect, customers are urged to co-operate with personnel of
ZETDC as they approach their premises to discharge their mandate."
Mandizvidza said Zesa Holdings had plans to install smart prepaid meters to
ensure that customers paid for their consumption of electricity.
He said they were awaiting the finalisation of relevant formalities by the
State Procurement Board (SPB) to engage a service provider of smart prepaid
"ZETDC would be in a position to recover the revenue that is locked with
customers as the technology has in-built mechanism to dedicate some units
towards customer debt, while at the same time allowing them to survive until
the bills are cleared," said Mandizvidza.
"ZETDC is not going to write off the bills and it is only logical that
customers heed the call to clear their debt now."
Mandizvidza said the power utility successfully undertook an exercise to
clean its billing system and the bills that were being generated were
Zesa has come under fire from customers for its billing system which they
say is in shambles.
Power outages affect surgery at Parirenyatwa hospital
By Tichaona Sibanda
22 December 2011
A four day power cut has seriously affected operations at Parirenyatwa
hospital in the capital.
Disruption in the supply of power has also forced authorities at the
hospital to send patients home, while in serious cases patients were
transferred to private hospitals for urgent operations.
Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said the outages at Parirenyatwa have
forced the city of Harare to approach the utility power company ZESA, with a
plan to resuscitate the thermal power station which stopped working 15 years
Muchemwa said repeated calls to ZESA to continue power supply to sensitive
institutions like hospitals in Harare have fallen on deaf ears. Although
both Parirenyatwa and Harare hospitals have contingency back-up generators
that are supposed to kick in when there are power outages, most of the times
the generators are out of service.
‘Its either they don’t have fuel or there is a mechanical fault with the
generators, so it has really been a struggle at Parirenyatwa, the most
affected hospital in the city,’ Muchemwa said.
City fathers have had meetings with ZESA officials in a bid to have the
thermal station back in the hands of the council, as it used to be before
the utility company took over in the early 1990’s.
‘Officials in the city council believe that if they can restore the thermal
station, which uses coal, power from that station will be prioritised to
institutions like hospitals around the capital,’ Muchemwa added.
Dr Douglas Gwatidzo of Doctors for Human Rights told the media in Harare on
Wednesday that the country’s chronic power woes must be addressed to prevent
needless loss of life.
Zesa pre-paid meter project in mess
By Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 15:37
HARARE - Zimbabwe's power utility Zesa has been forced to reverse a public
tender for purchasing prepaid metres after it emerged that the winning
bidder only intended to lease the equipment.
The smart metres are set to bring an overhaul to Zesa’s shambolic billing
system through accurate reading and pay-as-you-consume costing.
Both domestic and industrial consumers have for long cried foul over
unrealistic bills at a time power outages hit record levels in the decade
long power woes.
Justin Mupamhanga, secretary for energy and power development, yesterday
told Parliament’s portfolio committee on mines and energy that the tender
hiccup was stalling the critical power management project.
“The winning bidder actually wanted to lend the equipment to Zesa at a cost
of $0,65 per transaction which would make power more expensive so they have
gone back to the original list for reconsideration,” he said.
“We have not got official communication from the state procurement board and
this delays a process we had hoped to start this year. We are now looking at
starting it in the first quarter of 2012,” Mupamhanga added.
He said another power management project — set to see the country receiving
about five and half million florescent bulbs — was also stalled on the back
of the tender complications.
Mupamhanga said distribution of the energy saving bulbs, initially slated
for the last quarter of 2011, will have to be done in the first quarter next
“It was discovered that none of the companies met the tender specifications
and a second bidding has been done.
Adjudication will come after December,” he said.
Zesa, which has struggled to collect revenue since dollarisation, argues
that the current power tarrif is uncompetitive.
In October, Zesa effected a 31 percent tariff hike saying the increased
revenue was meant to bankroll an ambitious $7, 8 billion rehabilitation and
expansion of its Hwange thermal and Kariba Hydro power stations.
The utility is currently reeling under a $500 million debt owed to
international financing institutions like the IMF while it also owes $102
million to other utilities in the region.
Zimbabwe’s government owes Zambia about $260 million for the shared Kariba
Dam infrastructure the country inherited at independence.
Payment of the debt for infrastructure that Zimbabwe inherited from the
Central African Power Corporation during the federation era — is believed to
be among the reasons that have stalled the construction of the 1 600
megawatt Batoka hydro-power station.
Although energy minister Elton Mangoma said the country currently has no
capacity to settle the 30-year-old debt, there have been indications that
Zimbabwe may be required to pay only $70, 8 — which excludes interest.
Josh Chifamba, Zesa chief executive recently said consumers are set to pay
more for their electricity to meet the increase in operation costs arising
from construction and rehabilitation of Kariba and Hwange power stations.
He said electricity tariffs are low compared to production expenses and
could increase by 47 percent in the coming five years to meet power
“We are currently retailing at $0,095 per Kilowatt-hour and this is low
compared to production and you also have to factor in the transmission
“As a result, we expect tariffs to go up by about $0, 04 to hit $0,14 in the
coming five years,” he said, adding that tarrifs would go up to pay for the
face-lift as is the case of neighbouring countries.
The two projects are meant to increase power output to 2 220 megawatt from a
current 1 320 megawatt which leaves a 640 megawatt deficit.
The country has a total installed capacity of 1 680 megawatts, with 750 MW
from Kariba South, 780 MW from Hwange Power Station and 150 MW from small
thermals — but only 940 MW of this is currently available against a peak
demand of 1 950 MW.
Zesa drops Sino Hydro deal
Thursday, 17 November 2011 19:03
ZESA has renounced the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) clandestinely
signed between treasury and Chinese conglomerate Sino Hydro for the
expansion of the Kariba South hydroelectric power project opting for a more
transparent tender process. Kariba presently generates 750 megawatts of
power at its peak and the MoU seeks to increase generation capacity by an
extra 600 MW. It was signed by Finance minister Tendai Biti and Economic
Planning and Development minister Tapiwa Mashakada early this year.
Investment in the country has been subdued in the last decade with Zesa
failing to provide uninterrupted power supply to the manufacturing industry.
The power authority sometimes switches off consumers for up to 12 hours as
part of its haphazard load-shedding schedule.
Zesa chief executive officer Josh Chifamba told the Mines and Energy
Portfolio Committee on Monday that the agreement awarding Sino Hydro the
Kariba expansion work had jumped the gun and would cause problems with other
Chinese companies should it be implemented without going to tender.
“Sino Hydro made an offer, (but) it jumped the gun on many issues,” said
Chifamba. “The feasibility studies had not been done. We were going to have
problems with other Chinese partners. The only way was to go to
international tender,” he said.
Chifamba said such large projects needed very high levels of transparency to
encourage investment and participation by the most competent company through
a tender process.
“We need maximum transparency to encourage funding. This would also give us
an opportunity to evaluate the best tender and compare the services of the
companies in an open manner,” Chifamba said.
The debt laden energy utility conceded that the perennial power shortages
could only be solved by engaging in Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to
build new electricity generation plants. However, Chifamba suggested that
investors were wary of Zimbabwe’s inconsistent policies.
“We are not the most attractive investment destination in the world,” he
said. “Electricity generation is a long term investment. There must be
stability, and currently there is nervousness among investors, for instance,
around indigenisation policy.”
Most local parastatals are debt ridden making them unattractive to
investors. Zicosteel owes about US$240 million to Chinese and German banks.
The situation is the same at the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Air
Zimbabwe, Noczim, Grain Marketing Board, Agribank, Cold Storage Company,
TelOne, NetOne and the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC). The ZPC has been
shortlisted for privatisation or restructuring in the short to medium-term.
In another development, Chifamba announced that Zesa would soon embark on
the ambitious Batoka hydro-power project with potential to generate 3000MW
after finally agreeing to settle a US$260 million debt to Zambia for the
shared Kariba infrastructure inherited at independence in 1980.
The dispute revolved around an unpaid debt for infrastructure that Zimbabwe
inherited at Independence from the Central African Power Corporation (Capco)
during the federation era.
Chifamba said: “Zesa will start servicing the Capco debt commencing next
January and that will give us the greenlight to start the Batoka project.”
Zimbabwe’s power stations are operating at 50% capacity and producing 1 300
MW compared to a national demand of 2 400 MW. The utility meets the
shortfall by importing from the DRC’s power company Snel, Eskom of South
Africa and HCB of Mozambique.
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Says No End to Blackouts in Sight
15 November 2011
Zesa increased tariffs by 31 percent in September and recent reports said it
was planning another increase of 47 percent on top of that
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority warned this week that consumers
and businesses should must brace for more load-shedding over the next three
to four years as it faces major challenges including massive financial debt
Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Zesa Chief Executive
Officer Josh Chifamba said Monday that vandalism alone is costing the
utility around $800,000 a month while increased scarcity of power in the
region is contributing to load-shedding.
Zesa increased tariffs by 31 percent in September and recent reports said it
was planning another increase of 47 percent on top of that. Projects to
bolster production at Kariba and Hwange won’t deliver results until 2015 and
The Kariba plant is hydro-electric. Hwange is coal-fired.
Energy Committee Chairman Simbaneuta Mudarikwa of ZANU-PF told reporter
Jonga Kandemiiri that the only way Zesa could properly serve the country
would be if the government assumed its debts.
Zimbabwe Plans Six Hydroelectric Generators, Newsday Reports
By Brian Latham - Nov 9, 2011 4:37 PM GMT+1000
Zimbabwe will need $30 million to build six hydroelectricity generators to
ease power shortages in the country, Newsday said, citing Deputy Energy
Minister Hubert Nyanhongo.
The hydropower generators will produce between 1 and 5megawatts of
electricity each, Harare-based Newsday said on its website. Closely held
South African power producer NuPlanet (Pty) Ltd. has a license to build a
$12 million, five-megawatt generator at Lake Mutirikwi near the southern
city of Masvingo, Newsday added.
Zimbabwe submitted a $40 million bid to exploit methane gas in Lupane, where
a $470 million power plant will be developed once deposits have been
quantified, Newsday reported. The southern African nation has about 27
trillion cubic feet of untapped methane-gas reserves, it said.
Sudden power shut down at Kariba, Hwange
Posted by admin on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 in ZESA, Zimbabwe politics
A statement from Richard Maasdorp, chairman of the Zimbabwe Power Company,
has said that there was s sudden “shut down” of both of Zimbabwe’s major
sources of generation at 0625 hours Wednesday 9th November (Kariba and
The statement said: This was caused by a major system disturbance on the
transmission network. Early indications are this disturbance originated from
the transmission line from Mozambique. It would appear that this was a
severe shock as it also impacted on the Kariba North Bank station (Zambia).
The statement went on to say that it was hoped that Kariba could be brought
back over the next 24 hours, but Hwange could take days.
Initial reports said all of Harare was without power for some hours, but by
late morning it had come back on.
- ZESA to increase tariffs by nearly 50%
- Hundreds march through Bulawayo to protest ZESA failures
- Zesa fears collapse
- Zim to clear US$260m Federation-era debt
- Power outages threaten Zimbabwe agriculture
- More power outages loom
- Zimbabwe’s power situation: a closer look
- Zimbabwe energy and power conference gets under way
- New tariff necessary, says Zesa boss
- Load shedding still with us, says Zesa