Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Residents angry with Zesa estimate bills

Residents angry with Zesa estimate bills

Sunday, 02 September 2012 10:08
HARARE - Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) in the public interest and in the 
fulfilment of its vision of a free and prosperous citizenry continued to 
receive reports from residents owing to the continued use of estimated 
billing instead of actual meter readings to reflect actual consumption.

Residents are concerned with the operations of the Zimbabwe Electricity 
Distribution Company (ZETDC), as the billing authority. “This has left the 
majority of the populace in debt, given the social and economic hardships.”

Widespread power disconnections have followed across Harare, including some 
buildings in the Central Business District.

During the first two weeks of August 2012, the HRT recorded 180 cases of 
residents whose electricity had been disconnected, with the majority of 
these cases based on estimated bills.

As a success, the HRT has been able to have these cases re-evaluated to 
reflect actual consumption as residents are being trained to read their own 

“The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has not satisfactorily 
explained how residents’ bills have continued to rise above their incomes 
and capacities.

“The HRT urges Zesa to immediately review the bills of the residents 
downwards to reflect actual consumption and the capacity or ability of the 
recipients of the services to pay,” said HRT.

The residents’ body urged Zesa’s public relations officials to be available 
when they are needed to address residents’ concerns within communities.

“HRT strongly advocates for the complete reduction of the debts owed to 
ZETDC by the residents.

In line with the HRT objective Number three “to facilitate engagement among 
council officials, service providers and the citizenry to improve the 
standards of living in Harare Metropolitan Province”, the organisation will 
continually endeavour to seek and facilitate dialogue between ZETDC and the 
residents in order to reach a common understanding in pursuit of an 
efficient electricity provision system.

“Also in line with objective Number four to “monitor and audit the 
performance of service providers so that they deliver quality and affordable 
services to the citizenry”, the HRT will continue to closely monitor how the 
national power utility provides services to its customers to ensure 
accountability and value for money for the residents. A transparent billing 
system is a must if electricity consumers are going to pay up their bills.”

Below is a summarised brief on the provision of electricity and its 
distribution in the various suburbs within Harare based on information 
provided by HRT Community Coordinators and the various suburban residents’ 

Waterfalls: Uplands, Picnic Park, Hilton Park, Cheviot and Shortson areas 
experience electricity power outages from 0510 hours or 0600 hours in the 
morning to around 1300 hours.

When there is no electricity in the morning it will be back in the afternoon 
or it is vice-versa.

The electricity is usually cut off for seven hours. Residents are forced to 
buy paraffin which costs US$1,15 per litre and firewood which costs $1 for 
four pieces.

Mbare: Power outages are usually experienced for five hours in Mbare 
National, Jourburg Lines, Nenyere and Mbare flats.

At Matapi hostels, there is rarely load shedding because they are 
interconnected to Matapi Police Station and home industrial areas.

Hatfield: Residents have always been satisfied with supplies. However, in 
the past three weeks, electricity supplies have been cut off in excess of 
four hours daily.

Borrowdale/Mount Pleasant: An improvement has been noted by most residents 
but they require Zesa to follow a known timetable.

The residents are sometimes switched off for an hour or for five hours then 
switched on.

Greendale, Mandara, Highlands and Chisipite — Improvements have been noted 
by residents.

Duration of load shedding has been reduced from eight to five hours per day 
in the last week.

Residents are mainly complaining due to increased expenditure on fuels for 
their generators and firewood and paraffin in place of electricity.

Tashinga — Electricity outages are experienced from 0500 hours to 1300 hours 

Dzivarasekwa — The area experience power outages for averagely four hours.

Kuwadzana Extension — There is an average of eight hours without electricity 
every day.

Kuwadzana — an average of eight hours to 9 hours without electricity.

Warren Park — Power outages averagely eight hours a day.

Highfield, Jerusalem and Egypt — During weekdays there are power outages 
from are experienced from 9am to 2pm and on particular days load shedding is 
experienced between 2pm and 9pm.

The load shedding at times alternates between the two suburbs.

Glen View — Electricity is available from 8pm to 9am on Monday, Wednesday 
and Friday but on Tuesdays and Thursdays there is electricity supply during 
the day from 9 am to 6pm.

Glen Norah A — Electricity is supplied four hours during the day and power 
cuts are experienced twice or thrice a day, increasing the risk to people 
and damage of electrical gadgets.

Glen Norah B — There is load shedding from 2pm to 10pm during the day.

Budiriro 4 — Load shedding is experienced twice a day from 6am to 12pm and 
from 2pm to 8pm during weekdays.

Budiriro 3 — There is no supply during the day from 6am to 8pm especially 
during weekdays.
Mufakose — Electricity has been supplied consistently from the first week of 

Concern over ZESA debts overshadows prepaid meter rollout

Concern over ZESA debts overshadows prepaid meter rollout

By Alex Bell
29 August 2012

Disgruntled customers of Zimbabwe’s power utility have said they are 
concerned that their outstanding debts, based on years of inaccurate power 
bills, will still be owed as the company rolls out prepaid meters.

The prepaid meter exercise was officially launched at Machipisa shopping 
centre in Harare on Tuesday and the country’s power supply authority, ZESA, 
plans to install 600,000 meters countrywide. This will form part of phase 
one of the operation, which will ultimately help the parastatal dispose of 
its current billing system.

ZESA has earned the ire of most of its consumers by issuing bills based on 
estimates, insisting it never had the money to send out meter readers. Their 
system has proved unreliable, and many people have been billed for far more 
than they use.

This has not stopped ZESA from disconnecting its users who have not paid 
their bills, with the only exceptions being top government officials. This 
includes the Mugabe family, whose outstanding bill at the end of last year 
was reportedly more than US$300, 000.

Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma has now tried to 
reassure ZESA customers that they will not be switched off. But he said 
their debt will be incorporated under the pre-paid meter scheme.

“All those who were disconnected for non-payment can now be connected to 
prepaid meters without making a down-payment for the reconnection fee, while 
20% of the money used to buy electricity will be applied towards the 
reduction of the debt until it is fully paid,” Mangoma said at Tuesday’s 
launch of the pre-paid meters.

Precious Shumba, the Director of the Harare Resident’s Trust, said the long 
term benefits of pre-paid meters will be welcome to the public. But he said 
ZESA has in no way taken into account the “unreasonable and unjustified 
debts based on their previous bills.”

“People are being asked to pay off huge debts accrued using unjustified 
billing systems. ZESA should recalculate the outstanding bills based on 
actual usage once the meters have been installed,” Shumba said.

SW Radio Africa was unable to contact Minister Mangoma or ZESA for comment.

Zimbabwe's energy crisis

Zimbabwe's energy crisis

Vince Musewe
28 August 2012

Vince Musewe says country stopped investing in new generation capacity in 

Zimbabwe energy crisis: African solutions to an African problem?

Government has a reputation of structuring policy around individuals and no 
wonder why for 28 years, we have had free riders in the energy ministry.

A couple of weeks back, the Minister of Energy, Elton Mangoma, informed us 
on what he is doing to fix the energy crisis in Zimbabwe. I have studied his 
speech and must comment on it especially on his short term solutions.

I note that it is since 1984, that Zimbabwe stopped investing in new 
generation capacity in the energy sector. That was only 4 years after 
independence meaning that for 28 years, no body anticipated that the system 
would someday break down or be inadequate to meet our needs. This means that 
for 28 years, even though we have had a minister occupying the energy 
portfolio, he has been getting paid for doing nothing. Well there is no 
revelation in that statement.

Now hear this, the Hwange power station has been operating much below 
capacity (between 300 and 500MW) out of a potential capacity of 900MW. Those 
responsible for fixing the problem forgot to fix ancillary machinery while 
focusing on the rotor and now that the rotor is fixed, they must still 
attend to the ancillary equipment. As a result we still have low capacity 
utilization of the power station.

Clearly we have had serious mismanagement from all those involved including 
ZESA. The minister alludes to this fact whether ZESA is likely be an 
acceptable partner in the purchasing of solar generated power from 
independent power producers. In my opinion, the old model with ZESA in the 
middle has caused so much pain for everyone and its time we came up with 
innovative and more efficient distribution model especially for solar power 
generation and distribution. In my view restructuring and chunking ZESA, as 
the minister announced, will not change the nature of the beast. It merely 
means we will have more egos involved more perks to pay and more jobs for 

On the issue of solar panels for homes, I think that it is a good idea to 
ensure that these are affordable. I do think however, that we continue to 
seriously under rate the solar power solution. We need to be more aggressive 
in the use of solar power both for residential and industrial use.

For example, the ministry of energy can put in an incentive for homes to 
convert. For example, write off an agreed cost of a home solar power system 
against any debt owed to ZESA or provide a subsidy? We could also make it 
law that any new residential developments must have solar water heating 
systems as water heating is a significant cost. Where possible, we must 
encourage homes to be completely off grid thus reducing the demand at all 
times and not just during the day as the minister suggests.

In the case of companies, they can invest in solar power plants and be able 
to, for example, get tax benefits for doing so or sell that power back to 
the grid.

On the issue if locally manufactured solar lamps for US$10, which is 
commendable because I have seen some imported lamps being sold for US$ 40! 
There has been significant profiteering in this sector and we need to 
intervene and save the poor from unscrupulous suppliers. We must encourage 
local manufacture of these and create jobs as the minister intends.

Prepaid meters result in energy saving while improving cash flow for power 
suppliers. Al though they are not that easy to manage for those that are 
unable to budget and do not have consistent income, which is the case for 
most Zimbabweans, they remove doubt and suspicions as long as the company 
that manages them is a credible one. Minister, why did we have to include 
foreign companies in this process? Surely there are enough qualified 
Zimbabweans who can run prepaid meter platforms?

There is still some education necessary when it comes to domestic use of 
gas. I noted that those in the townships re reverting to paraffin which is 
sad development. Again here I see that a Zambian has been appointed to 
assist us? There are millions of qualified Zimbabwean engineers in the 
Diaspora who can surely do the research and come up with the necessary 

Overall I think the minister has done his home work but it is very important 
that we find quick short term solutions and he cannot do this on his own 
without users contributing to save energy.

The fundamental challenge we face is that of information and awareness 
within our communities on the importance of energy to our well being as a 
country. Energy saving must be a community driven campaign and I see nothing 
on that front in the ministers plans.

Last but not least is the use of CFLs' in Zimbabwe. I am led to believe that 
these contain mercury and are harmful to the environment. LED lighting is 
the new way and shouldn't we go that route now to avoid unnecessary future 

I do hope that in the event that if the minister is promoted in the future, 
we do get some continuity in policy on whoever takes over. Government has a 
reputation of structuring policy around individuals and no wonder why for 28 
years we have had free riders in the ministry.

Vince Musewe is an independent economist currently in Harare and you may 
contact him on  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Zimbabwe's forests go up in smoke amid energy crisis

Zimbabwe's forests go up in smoke amid energy crisis



Wed, 15 Aug 2012 13:19 GMT

Source: Alertnet // Madalitso Mwando

Zimbabwean children carry firewood on their heads near a slum in Hatcliffe, Harare, Dec. 9, 2008. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

By Madalitso Mwando

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AlertNet) – Pensioner Thandazani Ndlovu earns his living selling firewood, making him better off than Zimbabwe’s millions of jobless.

From the back of his pick-up truck, he has established a thriving business as demand for firewood continues to grow in Bulawayo, a city of 2 million people in the southwest.

Residents are turning to wood for cooking and heating as Zimbabwe’s electricity outages get worse, with its energy utility battling to keep the lights on in urban areas.

As winter began, the state-owned power company announced in June it was increasing its load-shedding schedule - music to Ndlovu’s ears.

He operates in the crowded streets of Bulawayo’s townships, where preparing food over a fire has become a daily reality.

“On a good day, I can make $20,” Ndlovu says. “I get the firewood from farms on the outskirts of the city where resettled farmers are clearing the land to build their homes.”

With 56 percent of Zimbabweans living on less than $1.25 a day and unemployment as high as 80 percent, many people regard trees - even those on residential properties - as a potential source of income.

Concerned with making a comfortable living, Ndlovu doesn’t worry that he and other firewood vendors might be contributing to deforestation in the southern African nation.

With no respite from the energy crisis, up to 90 percent of Zimbabweans now rely on firewood for cooking, a huge leap from around 50 percent two decades ago, according to non-governmental organisation Environment Africa.

Some 70 percent of the population resides in rural areas, where firewood has long been the primary source of energy.

“I have never thought about the implications of cutting down trees. What I know is that another tree will grow, because our ancestors found these trees there,” Ndlovu says.

It is a common response to recent campaigns launched by the government and environmental groups to curb uncontrolled logging.


The parastatal Forestry Commission estimates deforestation at around 330,000 hectares per year. Between 1990 and 2010, Zimbabwe lost more than 30 percent of its forest cover, according to commission data.

As its forests shrink, Zimbabwe has yet to confront the far-reaching ramifications of its energy crisis.

“It’s one of the challenges that has the ministry (of environment) in a tough spot because you cannot tell people to stop cutting down trees without providing a solution to their energy demands,” explains Kurauone Muringapi, a field researcher for the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management.

“There is no doubt that, despite not being an industrialised country, our contribution to carbon emission concerns increases when there are no forests to talk about,” he adds.

Gilmore Sadza, an environmental consultant working with the ministry, says the government has been slow to join international efforts to combat deforestation.

“The wanton cutting-down of trees was ignored around the year 2000 when people moved into white farms and conservation areas,” Sadza said.

“Climate change was never seen as an urgent matter, but at least now we are seeing some moves to address it, despite the obvious challenges,” he said.

In 2011, officials began crafting a comprehensive climate change policy in collaboration with the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), which is funded by the British and Dutch governments.

And last month, the ministry gazetted new, stringent regulations on illegal logging in a move to curb deforestation. Among others, they target farmers who have been fingered for some of the worst abuses of Zimbabwe’s forests.

The country will also have to deal with the consequences of smoke and other emissions from domestic cooking fires, as well as wildfires which have become an annual phenomenon here.


Zimbabwe’s carbon footprint, like that of many African nations, remains tiny compared with developed countries.

Nonetheless, its current energy crisis could contribute to climate shifts that will affect future generations – not least because cutting down forests means fewer trees to store carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing global warming.

Zimbabwe is already seeing changes in the patterns of its seasons, lower rainfall and higher temperatures. But strategies to reverse deforestation could help reduce the risk of these trends getting worse, believes Simon Gapare, a Zimbabwean environmental researcher based in the United States.

“It’s time initiatives like the National Tree Planting Day were taken seriously. If you ask anyone you know if they have ever planted a tree, you will be disappointed,” he says.

On the first Saturday of December each year, Zimbabwe marks National Tree Planting Day, with the president leading the commemorations.

“Many people don’t bother about these things, but solutions to climate change do not reside in conferences or textbooks, but right among us – (in) our own practices relating to how we treat the natural resources around us. Planting a tree is one such solution,” Gapare argues.

The private sector has also started to launch reforestation initiatives.

For example, Nyaradzo Funeral Services, a company based in the capital Harare with branches across the country, plants a tree for each burial it conducts and gives families trees to plant after relatives’ funerals. It is hoping to plant 500 million trees by 2025.

For firewood vendors like Ndlovu, participating in reforestation efforts could prove profitable in the long run. But with customers lining up to get their hands on an increasingly valuable source of energy, the issue of whether the business is sustainable isn’t a priority for most.

“This is my way of life - as long as there is demand for firewood, I will keep selling,” Ndlovu says.

Madalitso Mwando is a journalist based in Harare, Zimbabwe.

ZPC urges industry to work at night

ZPC urges industry to work at night

August 12, 2012 in Business

By Kudzai Chimhangwa
THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has urged the manufacturing industry to 
take advantage of the excess power available at night after peak power 
demand hours for production.
Speaking at a media briefing last week ZPC chairman Richard Maasdorp said 
industry must take advantage of the abundant electricity available during 
the night to produce goods and commodities without disruptions.

“This will go a long way towards saving the energy available and providing 
industry with the electrical power they need,” he said.

Manufacturing companies have for long bemoaned the incessant power cuts 
saying they were disruptive to their business.

Speaking at the same event ZPC general manager for projects, Engineer 
Washington Mareya said the company had embarked on expansion projects for 
the Hwange and Kariba South Extension un

its in a bid to meet current and future electricity demand.

However, funding has proved to be a major hurdle as investment has not been 

Mareya said Zimbabwe faced an acute power shortage which dates back to the 
year 1992 when the country began facing a net power deficit.

“The situation worsened in the year 2007 when the Southern African Power 
Pool also began facing a net energy deficit,” he said.

“Because our demand far outstrips our generation capacity, it is imperative 
that we embark on an aggressive generation expansion drive in order to meet 

The projects are being implemented in four phases namely review phase, 
engineering phase, construction and commissioning phase and the warranty 

Hwange 7 and 8 units are expected to be upgraded to 600 MegaWatts (MW) at a 
cost of US$1,83 billion while the Kariba South 7 and 8 units would be 
upgraded to 300MW at a cost of US$771 million.

However, funding has continued to be a major stumbling block towards the 
timely completion of projects.

Mareya said that the mini-hydro power plants would be prioritised under 
public-private partnerships.

These include the Gairezi to produce 30MW at US$90 million, Mutirikwi to 
produce 5MW at US$10 million and Manyuchi to produce 1,4MW at US$3 million.

The review phase which involved feasibility studies was completed as at June 
2011 while the engineering phase started concurrently with part of phase 1.

“Evaluation of tender documents is in progress and selection of suitable 
contractors is expected to be finalised in October 2012. Contract 
negotiations are expected to be concluded in December 2012 to January 2013,” 
he said.
The construction and commissioning phase is expected to begin around mid- 
2013 and is projected to take three and half to four years.

The World Bank recently recommended that government launches an electrical 
power demand-side management programme designed to encourage consumers to 
use less energy during peak hours.

The bank also encouraged users to move the time of energy use to off-peak 
times such as nights and weekends.

The energy crisis has negatively affected the country’s hopes for a 
sustained economic growth, as load shedding and high tariffs have caused 
disruptions to productivity in the manufacturing and mining sectors.

Thermals at most of the power stations in the country are more than 40 years 
old while the last power station ever put up in the country was in the 

Power shortages to worsen: ZESA

Power shortages to worsen: ZESA

11/08/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has warned that power 
supply interruptions will increase over the next three months due to 
maintenance work at Hwange thermal power station.

The power station generates about 500MW but maintenance work to increase 
capacity would temporarily result in the loss of 160MW over the next three 
months, ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira.

“Zesa Holdings would like to advise all its customers countrywide that 
Hwange Power Station will be undergo­ing its scheduled mandatory statutory 
maintenance to ensure the continued operational efficiency of that 
gener­ating asset,” Gwasira said.

“The scheduled maintenance will com­mence on Satur­day 11 August 2012 
(yesterday) and be completed in November 2012. During this period, a total 
of 160 MW will be lost to the national grid.”
Gwasira said the ZESA was working to step up imports from the region to 
mitigate the supply interruptions.

Zimbabwe needs about 2,200 megawatts of electricity at peak consumption but 
generates just below 1,300 megawatts, while efforts to plug the gap with 
imports are often undermined by non-payment for supplies.
Supplies are currently being rationed between both commercial and domestic 

Although the government is planning various projects to step up power 
generation a senior official recently warned that the shortages would likely 
continue for another ten years.

"By 2022 that's when we will be able to generate enough power for domestic 
and industrial power. (But) most of our woes in terms of blackouts will end 
in 2015," Patson Mbiriri the permanent secretary for the energy minister 
told a recent industry conference.
Legislators recently expressed concern over the impact of power supplies 
shortages on the country’s struggling economy.

“We have failed to come up with indicators just to say there will be 
something in two years and in two years this country will have enough 
energy. Yet Cabinet meets every week, Ministers are in their offices every 
day and one wonders what is really happening,” said Goromonzi North MP Paddy 

“How do we turn around the economy with energy shortages? Mining, 
agriculture . . . all need energy. We are dealing with an economy that 
hinges its turnaround on agriculture and mining all need energy yet this was 
not addressed.” 

Zimplats lends ZESA US$25 million

Zimplats lends ZESA US$25 million

04/08/2012 00:00:00
by Roman Moyo

PLATINUM miner, Zimplats advanced a US$25 million loan to ZESA which the 
power utility used to reduce its indebtedness to Mozambique’s Hidroelectrica 
de Cahora Bassa, enabling the resumption of power imports.

The Mozambican company had cut supplies to Zimbabwe after ZESA failed to 
reduce its mounting debt but the facility extended by Zimplats would enable 
power imports to resume.
Zimplats said, in return, ZESA would guarantee power supplies to its 
operations for three years.

“During the quarter, Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Private) Limited advanced a 
$25 million loan to the power utility ZESA which was used to reduce the 
utility's overdue indebtedness to Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa of 
Mozambique in respect of power imports,” the company said in its latest 
financial report.

“The loan facility enabled Zimbabwe to resume power imports from Mozambique 
to augment the country's constrained power generation.

“The loan principal and interest were converted into power units which will 
be redeemed over three years. In return, Zimplats is guaranteed 
uninterrupted power supplies for its operations for five years.

Meanwhile Zimplats posted a 52% drop in operating profit in the fourth 
quarter to June, due to weaker platinum group metal prices.

The company said operating profit was $25m, down from $52m in the previous 
quarter as metal prices were depressed during the period while operating 
costs rose 17%, in line with higher sales volumes.

“Operating costs were 17% above previous quarter in line with the higher 
sales volume. In addition, the first tranche of $3.3 million was paid to the 
Community Share Ownership Trust in terms of an undertaking to make available 
to the trust, $10 million over a three year period,” the company said.

“Royalties continue to be accounted for at the higher rates set in terms of 
the Finance Act whilst the company awaits resolution of the dispute which is 
currently before the courts. As a result of the above, operating profit 
amounted to $25 million, 52% lower than the previous quarter.”

Zimplats, which is 87% controlled by Implats , said in March it had agreed 
to a deal that would see it comply with Zimbabwe’s requirement that 51% of 
shares in Zimplats be held by locals.
The firm said it was in discussions with the government over the 
implementation of the ownership agreement.

“A Joint Technical Committee comprising Government of Zimbabwe 
representatives and management has been set up to work through material 
issues pertaining to the agreement. Discussions are on-going and 
shareholders will be updated on major developments," the company said. 

Zimbabwe power cuts to persist for 10 years: official

Zimbabwe power cuts to persist for 10 years: official

(AFP) – 6 hours ago

NYANGA, Zimbabwe — Energy-starved Zimbabwe will suffer longer and more 
frequent power shortages for the next 10 years, a senior official said 

The country's power utility will extend blackouts until it can boost 
capacity, Patson Mbiriri, secretary for energy and power development, told 
an annual congress of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.

"By 2022 that's when we will be able to generate enough power for domestic 
and industrial power," Mbiriri said.

Zimbabwe needs about 2,200 megawatts of electricity at peak consumption but 
generates just below 1,300 megawatts, while relying on imports to fill the 

Due to ageing equipment, power generation is often disrupted following 
breakdowns. In most cases, the generators operate below capacity.

In recent months, Zimbabwe could only afford to import 25 megawatts from 
nearby countries after major electricity suppliers in the region turned off 
the switches over non-payment of dues.

"Most of our woes in terms of blackouts will end in 2015," Mbiriri said.

Energy Minister Elton Mangoma recently said Zimbabwe has whittled its debt 
to power providers to under $20 million from around $100 million in a bid to 
resume imports.

There are plans to revamp the northern Kariba hydro-power station and the 
Hwange thermal power station in the west of the country. 

Power cuts hit mobile operators

Power cuts hit mobile operators

Saturday, 21 July 2012 19:00

MOBILE operators say the use of generators to run base stations during power 
cuts had increased operational costs, affecting their profit margins.
The country is experiencing debilitating power cuts as demand has 
outstripped the generation capacity. The power utility is generating 1 100MW 
against the required 2 200MW.

Giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, 
Information and Communication Technology last week, Econet CEO, Douglas 
Mboweni, said the US$0,20c per minute tariff offered was arrived at after 
factoring in all the costs involved. Mboweni said the major cost that was 
driving their tariff up was fuel, used to run generators.

“Electricity is a huge cost to us, the cost of generators and the cost of 
refilling is estimated at over US$15 million per year,” Mboweni said.

The Econet boss said about 72% of the network at any given time would be 
running on generators.

In a separate presentation interview before the same committee, Telecel 
chief executive officer, Francis Mawindi, concurred with Mboweni and also 
bemoaned electricity woes as the major barrier.

ZESA employees suspended over salary fight

ZESA employees suspended over salary fight

By Alex Bell
17 July 2012

More than 130 employees at the national power supply authority ZESA, have 
been suspended, after threatening to strike last week over the utility’s 
failure to award pay rises.

The Zimbabwe Energy Workers’ Union (ZEWU) a week ago issued an ultimatum to 
ZESA and other private players, to either meet their demands or face a 
nationwide strike. The workers want the salary increase that was meant to be 
awarded to them after a legal dispute in June.

ZEWU President Angeline Chitambo told journalists in Harare last week the 
Union grouping had resolved to embark on the strike, accusing ZESA chief 
executive Josh Chifamba of not honouring an arbitration order from last 
month. The order promised a new salary structure would be awarded to the 
energy sector on June 18th.

But instead of honouring the order, ZESA has suspended 132 employees without 
pay or benefits. The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), which 
voiced solidarity with the energy workers, said: “Such a primitive and 
barbaric way of handling labour disputes, reminiscent of the colonial era, 
must be condemned with the contempt it deserves. We want to reiterate that 
these workers have a legitimate expectation which must be respected both as 
citizens and workers,” the PTUZ said. 

Ministerial statement on power crisis

Ministerial statement on power crisis

13/07/2012 00:00:00
by Hon. Elton Mangoma

Ministerial Statement by Energy Minister Elton Mangoma to the House of 
Assembly on measures being taken by the government to ease the country’s 
power crisis. Delivered on Thursday, July 12, 2012:

Mr Speaker Sir, I have found it necessary to brief this House of elected 
representatives on what we are doing in the Ministry to ease power outages 
in the country.

Zimbabweans across the country and in all spheres; from housewives to 
business people, have a sad story to tell about the power cuts they 
experience every day in their homes and in the factories.

Mr Speaker Sir, it is the duty of government to explain the measures we are 
taking to alleviate the plight of the people. The solution might not come 
tomorrow, but the people of Zimbabwe deserve to know that we are working 
flat out to mitigate the situation which deteriorated way back due to 
non-investment in this critical sector. There was no way we could resolve in 
three years a decay process that began decades ago.
Nevertheless, I rise to make public our efforts in redressing this national 

It is a challenge that has affected a cross section of people from the big 
corporates in Harare and Bulawayo to clinics and health centres in 
Chendambuya and Gokwe; from schools in Filabusi to the ordinary power 
consumers in Budiriro and Pumula.

Mr Speaker Sir, it is no laughing matter; but they say the most popular 
words in Zimbabwe are “Magetsi auya”. As government and as a Ministry, we 
are aware of the mammoth task before us and we want to assure you that we 
will discharge of our national duty to the best of our ability.

The power supply in the country is inadequate leading to massive load 
shedding in all the sectors. This is on the backdrop of:
# No new generation capacity having been created in the country since 1984.

# A serious shortage of capacity in the region because of increased demand 
in their countries coupled with no new investment.

# Lack of maintenance, particularly from 1998 to 2009 leading to serious 
degeneration of both Generation and Transmission and Distribution 

# Low and unviable tariff over the past decade (some correction made in 

# Low funding from Treasury and high level of debtors.

# The economic revival has put pressure on the demand for electricity and 
particularly on domestic consumers, who had absorbed the electricity that 
was available from Industry and Mining.

The measures being taken are divided into Generation capacity and supply 
side activities, Demand Side Management and Institutional changes. All these 
will work towards alleviating load shedding and increasing the power for 
enhanced economic activities. The supply side is further split into short, 
medium and long term measures.

Short term (900MW)

Optimisation of Hwange Power Station (250MW)

Mr Speaker Sir, Hwange Power Station has an installed capacity of 950MW. It 
however has been producing between 300 to 500 MW. This is a result of poor 
maintenance, and lack of alignment of the production facility.

For example, the stage two turbines (generations) have a capacity to 
generate 220MW each, but the boilers are such that you can generate around 
150MW. Improving the boilers can increase the capacity to 200MW each. Work 
to identify what needs to be done is underway.

Poor maintenance management is exemplified by the current saga on units one 
and two where we had the rotors down and management concentrated on getting 
them fixed without attending to ancillary equipment at the same time. Now 
the rotors have been repaired, but work on the stator only commenced last 
month. Measures are being put in place to avoid such sloppiness including 
skills enhancement and greater team work.
Repowering Small Thermals (120MW)

All the small thermals can produce, with constant coal supply 200MW, 
compared to the current 60-80MW. Short term coal supplies can be increased 
by more cooperation and minimal investment at Hwange Colliery Company (HCC), 
so that they produce the required type of coal.

Immediate steps are being taken to modify the boilers, so that they can use 
the same thermal coal as Hwange Power Station. This is an 18-month 
programme. ESSAR will lease Munyati Power Station and they have indicated 
that they can make it produce 140MW.
Gairezi Hydro (30MW)

ZPC has applied for a licence to construct the Gairezi hydro scheme. This is 
estimated to cost $90 million and the project will take 18-24 months. The 
licence will be issued this month and finances are being arranged. It will 
be necessary to work with OPC to avoid the delays of the State Procurement 
Board (SPB).
Lupane Coal Bed Methane (500MW)

Mr Speaker Sir, there is need to map and determine what resource there is in 
Lupane. This is then followed with the construction of a gas fired plant in 
Lupane. The first phase involves the drilling of exploratory wells. As soon 
as these wells are drilled, instead of closing the wells or flaring the gas, 
the gas will be directed to a series of machines that generate between 
5-10MW. These machines will be hired from Agreko. It becomes possible to 
generate electricity almost immediately after the wells are drilled.

After mapping and determination, a mining plan is then determined. The 
mining plan is then executed taking into consideration the level of resource 
and what it will be used for. The current proposed uses are electricity 
generation and fertilizer production.

Mining can start immediately after resource mapping with the gas from the 
mining wells also being directed to more hired machines. This term is called 
Temporary Generation. These will only be removed after the commissioning of 
the Permanent Plant.

There are three parties already interested in the resource mapping and 
determination phase, who will do it on behalf of ZPC. Funding has already 
been secured for this phase.
Solar Into Grid (100MW)

The main thing that makes solar technology more expensive is the need to 
produce and store during the day for use at night, when you cannot produce. 
The current situation is that electricity is short during the day so there 
is no need to produce and store. Generating without storing will bring the 
tariff to between 10c-12ckwh, which is within the current tariff structure.
Solar plants can be put up very quickly. Current discussions are centering 
# Should this be one plant or a number of them.

# Signing of Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to buy all the power produced 
for a fixed period (consideration between 5-10 years).
The main issue is acceptability of Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and 
Distribution Company as a party to the PPA.

Solar Panels on Homes

Mr Speaker Sir, we have currently agreed with a housing cooperative in 
Mutare that they put solar panels as part of their roofs. The electricity so 
generated will be used within their homes and the surplus fed into the grid. 
At night the homes will then be supplied by ZESA. At the end of the month, 
the account will then be settled depending on the power produced and 
consumed. The flow of electricity will be measured using a Reverse Meter.

This policy can be extended to anyone although it may be more applicable to 
new housing complexes as the panels will be part of the cost of the roof, 
and therefore no extra investment required.
Solar Lamps

There is a programme under Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to produce 
solar lamps locally targeted to retail at $10 or less. REA is working with 
local industry to make sure there is significant value addition in this 
project. It will then lead to localisation of technology and job creation. 
Designs are at an advanced stage.

Treasury has provided $1,5m to this project, which will enable particularly 
school children to buy these lamps in instalments. The lamps are earmarked 
for rural schools. The involvement of industry means that a lot more solar 
lamps can be produced for commercial purposes to be made available to the 
generality of the public. These solar lamps are a good source of lighting 
when the electricity goes out.

Mr Speaker Sir, Zimbabwe used to import as much as 500MW firm power from 
SNEL, EDM, HCB and ZESCO. At the moment the only firm power is 100MW from 
HCB. The demand for electricity within the region has been growing, to a 
point now where whatever can be produced is utilised. The likely immediate 
source of imports is EDC and HCB. Negotiations are underway.

Botswana is likely to commission a power plant soon. EDM is being persuaded 
to export to us the power (50MW) they are currently exporting to Botswana.
Zambia is likely to commission Kariba North expansion next year and dialogue 
is taking place now.

Mozambique is planning to do Temporary Generation at their Southern Gas 
fields and this will add additional generation. We have registered our 
interest. Payments done to reduce our debt make us worth considering.

Prepaid Meters

The tender board awarded tenders to:

# Solahart Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd (Zim)

# Nyamezela Consulting Engineers cc (RSA)

# ZTE Corporation (China)

# Finmark Marketing (Pvt) Ltd (Zim)

These tenders exclude Harare and Bulawayo, which are the two places with the 
greatest need. The tenders are for supply and fix. Contracts signed are to 
ensure that those who quickly install their meters are allowed to install 
additional ones so as to roll out as quickly as possible and not be held by 
laggards purely on the basis that they won a tender. It is proposed to use 
the same tender winners on the same performance basis for Harare and 

The roll out is expected to start next month (June 2012) and be completed 
within 10 months. The current prepaid meter platform is being upgraded to 
handle different types and increased number of meters.
Prepaid Meter Platform Tender

Mr Speaker Sir, a tender was floated, adjudicated and awarded to REVMA. The 
adjudication process was fraudulent. All other tenderers who proposed 
external hosting were disqualified as it was a specific requirement that the 
platform be based at ZETDC. The adjudicators knew but presented REVMA as a 
direct supplier until the contract signing stage when REVMA wanted to be 
paid 60 cents per transaction.

Discussions with State Procurement Board (SPB) indicated that REVMA had not 
misrepresented their position, but that the adjudicators had falsely 
misrepresented the facts. As a result SPB could not reverse their award. The 
only recourse is for ZETDC to approach the Administrative Court for the 
nullification. ZETDC has now been directed to approach the court. Any award 
must now be based on those who show on the ground that they have a system 
that works.
Compact Florescent Lamps (CFLs)

The contract for the supply of CFLs has finally been signed (21/05/12). It 
is hoped that the first batch of one million lamps will be delivered on 30 
June 2012. Installation of the lamps will commence around mid-July.

The installation of the 5,5 million lamps, estimated to be completed by 
October 2012, will save evening peak electricity equivalent to 180MW.

Mr Speaker Sir, biogas is a sustainable, environmentally friendly source of 
energy. It is mostly used for heating and cooking purposes, and thereby 
releasing electricity for other purposes. A Zambian expert has been engaged 
for the purposes of technology transfer through the construction of 
prototype digesters. Three sites that have been identified are:
# Mbare Musika – Vegetable market

# Harare Hospital

# Roosevelt Girls High School

There is need to identify two other users covering:

# Farm environment

# Domestic dwelling

The work on all these prototypes is expected to commence in June.

Local constructors are expected to gain knowledge and insight into the 
construction for future propagation. Treasury budgeted $1,5 million for this 
purpose. The funds are sufficient to cover other educational and health 
institutions in all the provinces. REA is the implementation agent.

The residue after the gas has been used is very good organic fertilizer. 
Local industry is being involved in the manufacture/adaptation of gas 
stoves. The cooking system at Harare Hospital will be completely revamped.

Hwange and Kariba Expansion Projects (900 MW)

Hwange (600MW) and Kariba (300MW) expansion projects are currently being 
tendered for. The tenders are due to close on June 5, 2012. (Been advised 
SPB moved closing date to July 3, 2012). There are now four (4) tenderers 
for each project. The main issues to be considered are:

# The availability of funding to carryout projects. An alternative plan to 
fund Kariba South expansion has reached an advance stage.
# The technology to be used to create the cavity at Kariba – the type of 
blasting/drilling – due to the weak rock formation.

# The Ministry of Finance had written advising abandoning the tender process 
at Kariba in favour of Sino hydro, following the agreement they signed with 
China. It is recommended to carry through with the tender as scrapping it 
now could cause legal complications and further delay the project.
The projects are expected to take around 48 months.

Hwange-Western Areas (1000MW)

Mr Speaker Sir, this is a new project that will result in the construction 
of a coal fired power station in the Western Areas Coal fields. The Western 
areas coal fields concession was granted to ZPC by Cabinet in July 2010 for 
the purposes of attracting investors into power generation.
Promising negotiations are underway with China Railways International (CRI). 
The main issues are:

# That the power plant will belong to ZPC 100%

# That a mining venture is formed between ZPC and CRI

# CRI will operate the power plant for the benefit of ZPC until the loan has 
been repaid

It is estimated that the power plant will take around 3-4 years to 
construct, after a 6-12 month period of surveying and designing.
Independent Power Producers (IPPs)

A number of IPPs have been licensed. The three big projects are Sengwa 
(2400MW) Lusulu(2000MW) and ESSAR (600MW).


Bindura Gas Plant (2200MW)

Mozambique has discovered vast natural gas quantities in the Rovuma Basin. 
We have expressed our interest to have access to the natural gas.

The idea is to pipe the gas from Rovuma Basin, through the bridge at Tete to 
Bindura. A gas fired power station is then constructed in Bindura and feed 
into the Bindura-Songo transmission lines (This is similar to what Ghana has 
done with the Nigerian Gas).

The gas pipeline then extends to Harare, where it will be piped to the 
residential areas for cooking purposes, (like in most of the developed 
countries). This whole plan can be replaced by the Lupane CBM depending on 
the quantum of the resource.
Batoka (800MW)

Mr Speaker Sir, Zambia and Zimbabwe agreed on February 10, 2012, to embark 
on the Batoka hydro project with a total capacity of 1600-2000MW. It was 
agreed to proceed on a BOT basis under the leadership of the Zambezi River 
Authority (ZRA). Zimbabwe agreed to pay Zambia $70.8million for the CAPCO 
assets. $10m has since been paid. Interest has been agreed at $114 million 
and there is no repayment plan. Zimbabwe has already asked Zambia for 
interest not to be paid.

A detailed geological survey was done in 1994. It may be necessary to carry 
out some confirmatory geological survey, together with an Environmental 
Impact Assessment.

It is envisaged that the ZRA in consultation with the two countries will 
finalise the BOT framework soon so that they call for interested parties to 
put forward their proposals. The main issues to be considered are the legal 
and commercial issues and leave room for the interested parties to compete 
on issues like design and technology.
The Great Inga

The Great Inga hydro project is proposed on the Congo River in the DRC. This 
can produce upwards of 40,000MW. This project is too big for the DRC and 
requires a regional approach. If this is constructed it will change the 
economic fortunes of the region. It requires strong leadership and project 
design skills to make all the political leaders comfortable with the 
project. Hydro power is cheap and it is worth the time spent on promoting 


Mr Speaker Sir, the funding of ZESA by Treasury has been minimal, despite 
the provisions that have been made in the budget. A verbal agreement has 
been reached with the Minister of Finance to deduct the subsidy to Sable 
Chemicals and Government’s indebtedness to ZESA against the funds paid by 

The Zimfund promised some $30m as urgent intervention. This money was paid 
in by the Donor countries almost a year ago. No disbursements have been made 
Restructuring of ZESA

Mr Speaker Sir, it is proposed to restructure ZESA to make it more efficient 
and responsive to the consumers, whilst at the same time, setting up a 
mechanism, which will make it easy for Independent Power Producers have a 
level playing field.

ZESA Holdings was supposed to be only an instrument of holding shares in the 
successor companies. Instead it morphed into a huge bureaucracy negating the 
very point of establishing successor companies. In 2002 the Transmission 
business was legislated to be separate from distribution, only to be 
reversed later.
It is proposed that:

# ZESA Holdings be collapsed into a National Grid Services Company (NGSC) 
and move all the legacy debts to this company. It will be 100% Government 
owned and it will not be privatised. NGSC will be responsible for 
Transmission, Market and Systems Operation. It will have the “reserve 
supply” responsibility.
# ZETDC will transform to Zimbabwe Distribution Company (ZDC) and be 
responsible for Distribution of Electricity.

# Each of the companies will have a separate Board which will report 
directly to the shareholder.

These companies will be:

# Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC)

# Zimbabwe Distribution Company (ZDC)

# National Grid Services Company (NGSC)

# ZESA Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd (ZENT)

# Powertel

Establishing an Electricity Industry

Almost 90% of all the spares and services to ZESA are from outside our 
borders. There is no doubt that the engineering capacity at Independence was 
so high and yet we are not reviving it. Local content of Hwange Power 
Station was over 50%.

ZESA has been a major consumer and the spending power it has can be used as 
a catalyst for the revival of the local electricity industry. On top of 
this, our own engineers have excelled in the region and beyond.

Mr Speaker Sir, this requires deliberate targeting and formation of 
partnerships. ZENT has been improving its manufacturing capacity, for 
example, they now can produce 500 transformers per month. We can therefore 
not allow transformers from outside at the expense of knocking out this 

In the same vein, ZPC organised a workshop with the local industry so that 
they can hold each other’s hands as they build the industry together. This 
requires flexibility in the rules of the SPB.

The projects listed under IPP indicate that even if a quarter of them are 
realised, it is a lot of work. This is the time to ensure that the capacity 
is here to tap and localise the investment resource whilst at the same time 
creating the much needed jobs.

Creating local capacity will also reduce the time it takes to carryout 
repairs. For instance, generator 3 at Harare Power Station has been out for 
more than a year, with the rotor alignment waiting for its turn in South 
Africa. We need to empower our people by making them partners in the supply 
of services and spares.

In early 2010, Cabinet approved the Energy Policy document. Over this period 
series of workshops have been held with stakeholders in order to refine the 
policy and prepare for implementation. The product of those consultations 
has been completed, thanks to the assistance by UNDP.
It is planned to launch the document in July.

Mr Speaker Sir, I wish to assure the House that we are aware of the plight 
facing the people of Zimbabwe. We share with them the grief and misery of 
not having a reliable power supply.

I pledge to be making these ministerial statements to update the public on 
the progress in instituting these measures. We owe it to the people of 
I Thank You!

Zimbabwe says power debt down to under $20 mn

Zimbabwe says power debt down to under $20 mn

Sapa-AFP | 12 July, 2012 20:30

Energy-starved Zimbabwe has cut its debt to power providers to under US$20 
million from around $100 million in a bid to resume imports after major 
regional suppliers cut it off, the energy minister said Thursday.

"We have currently made strides to pay the debt we owed and our total debt 
has now been reduced to below $20 million from nearly a $100 million," 
Energy Minister Elton Mangoma told parliament.

He said talks have begun with neighbours Mozambique and Zambia to get "a 
little bit more" electricity after reducing the debt.

In recent months, Zimbabwe could only afford to import 25 megawatts from 
neighbouring countries after major electricity suppliers in the region cut 
off supplies for non-payment.

Zimbabwe needs about 2,200 MW of electricity at peak consumption but 
generates just below 1,300 MW.

"Zimbabwe used to import as much as 500 MW from SNEL in DR Congo, EDM and 
HCB in Mozambique and ZESCO in Zambia," he said adding the average quantity 
had came down to 100 MW.

"Because we were not paying, even that 100MW has been reduced to 25MW."

Mangoma said the country is working on refurbishing its northern Kariba 
hydro-power station and the Hwange thermal power station in the west of the 
country to boost generation capacity.

The minister said earlier this year that the power utility Zimbabwe 
Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is owed $400 million in unpaid 
electricity bills by consumers.

Authorities also increased energy charges last year by 31 percent to 9.83 
cents per kilowatt hour. 

Zimbabwe in talks with Chinese firm on power plant

Zimbabwe in talks with Chinese firm on power plant

Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:09pm GMT

Print | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Nelson Banya

HARARE, July 12 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government is in talks with China 
Railway International over plans to build a 1,000 megawatt coal-fired power 
plant to ease the southern African country's electricity shortages, its 
energy minister said on Thursday.

Zimbabwe's ageing plants produce around 1,000 MW, half of its peak demand, a 
power supply deficit which has paralysed mines and industry.

Energy Minister Elton Mangoma said Zimbabwe was considering several options 
to expand output at existing facilities, while pursuing new projects, 
including the Western Areas coal project in Hwange where a 1,000 MW thermal 
plant is planned.

In a statement to parliament, Mangoma said state-owned Zimbabwe Power Co 
(ZPC) was in talks with China Railway International, a subsidiary of China 
Railway Group, to jointly run a coal mine that would supply the proposed 

"Promising negotiations are underway with China Railway International," 
Mangoma said. He did not say how much the project would cost, but said the 
plant would take between three and four years to finish.

Zimbabwe has short-listed bids for the expansion of its Hwange thermal 
station and the Kariba hydro-plant to boost their combined output by 900 MW.

Independent power producers with projects that have the potential to 
generate a total of 5,000 MW have been licensed but are yet to start work.

However, analysts say Zimbabwe is unlikely to attract significant foreign 
investment due to President Robert Mugabe's drive to force foreign firms, 
including mines and banks, to turn over 51 percent shareholdings to locals 
under an empowerment law. 

ZESA audit reveals massive corruption

ZESA audit reveals massive corruption

An internal Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority investigation has 
unearthed rampant corruption involving officials tampering with accounts.

by Criswell Chisango

The investigation, codenamed Operation Dandemutande (Cobweb), started in 
April and has revealed that ZESA officers are deleting accounts with debts 
and replacing them with new ones that show no money is owing. A report in 
the hands of The Zimbabwean says the officials colluded with account holders 
who paid them in cash or kind to destroy their bills.

A memo dated April 15 from an investigating team covering Karoi, Kariba and 
Mhangura in Mashonaland West province and addressed to the Field Commander 
of the area gives insight into this massive scam thought to be common in all 
parts of the country.

The Dandemutande audit, commissioned by Energy Minister Elton Mangoma, 
targeted unauthorised rural and urban power connections, illegal substations 
and subcontractors.

According to a document compiled after the investigations, some of the 
officials alleged to have abused their authority are now on forced leave. 
The findings reveal that some of them received bribes for as little as $4 to 
cancel the debts that had accumulated.

Other officials accepted bribes running into thousands of dollars, and in 
some cases demanded sex from defaulting clients.

Karoi was described as a ‘’haven of corrupt (ZEDTC) workers’’, where 
investigators said, customers implicated a ZEDTC worker who was being paid 
amounts ranging from $10 to $20 for ‘‘burying accounts’’.

The same employee also received thousands of dollars from clients with huge 
bills. He used the Change of Tenancy facility to re-open new accounts that 
had been closed.

The investigators’ report said an account with a debt of $2,682.11 was 
‘‘buried’’ and reopened in the official’s name, adding that, at one time, 
the corrupt official demanded a beast from a client who owed $984.90.

Officials also accepted bribes running into thousands of dollars, received 
cattle and in some cases demanded sex from defaulting clients.

In one case, a house was being reconnected every month, with the user paying 
the corrupt meter readers amounts ranging from $10 - $20.

Only the senior meter reader has been sent on forced leave, and it was not 
clear at the time of going to print why no action had been taken against the 
other offenders.

Inside sources revealed that the power utility had not instituted legal 
action against the offenders from Mashonaland West.

A senior Zesa official working at the Chitungwiza offices confided to The 
Zimbabwean that cases of ‘’burying’’ accounts were rampant.

‘‘What you have heard about in Mashonaland Central is nothing compared to 
Harare and Chitungwiza,’’ he said. ‘‘Here, people are buying cars and houses 
using the bribes they get. Senior employees are involved.’’

He added that Zesa employees had become cautious after learning about 
Dandemutande. Questions sent to the Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira, had 
not been responded to at the time of going to print.

Energy workers threaten national blackout over salary dispute

Energy workers threaten national blackout over salary dispute

By Alex Bell
10 July 2012

Workers from Zimbabwe’s energy sector have threatened to pull the plug on 
the country’s power supply by Thursday, if their demands in an ongoing 
salary dispute are not met.

The Zimbabwe Energy Workers’ Union (ZEWU) on Monday issued a 72-hour 
ultimatum to the national power provider ZESA and other private players, to 
either meet their demands or face a nationwide strike. The workers want the 
salary increase that was meant to be awarded to them after a legal dispute 
in June.

ZEWU president Angeline Chitambo told journalists in Harare on Monday that 
the Union grouping had resolved to embark on the strike, accusing ZESA chief 
executive Josh Chifamba of not honouring an arbitration order from last 
month. The order promised a new salary structure would be awarded to the 
energy sector on June 18th.

“We have given Chifamba 72 hours to respond to our management in a 
meaningful engagement and people should not be surprised if they wake up 
without electricity,” Chitambo said.

Chitambo added: “We have written so many letters and I don’t think this 
blackout is going to be news to Chifamba. It will only be news to him if he 
takes us for granted.”

ZEWU is an umbrella body representing workers from ZESA, the Rural 
Electrification Agency, Petrotrade, the National Oil Infrastructure Company, 
Green Fuels, Powertel, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and 
Distribution Company, the Zimbabwe Power Company, Petrozim Lime, the Zambezi 
River Authority and a Mozambican energy firm, CPMZ.

The threat comes as Zimbabwe continues to face power supply problems, with 
the financially troubled ZESA unable to meet the countrywide demand for 
power. Power cuts and load shedding are now a widely expected norm, and ZESA 
has faced serious criticism for its service deliver failures.

Most recently, the power utility was criticised for its decision to carry on 
providing estimated bills to energy users, despite its unreliable service. 
ZESA has argued that it does not have the money to pay for meter readers. 

Hwange thermal on stream next year

Hwange thermal on stream next year

Thursday, 05 July 2012 16:54

Gamma Mudarikiri

THE rehabilitation of Hwange thermal power station is set for completion by 
end of 2013 and this should significantly address erratic power supply in 
the country, incoming permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and 
Power Development Patterson Mbiriri said this week.
The on-going rehabilitation of the project, which started in 2007, is 
expected to lift power output to 700MW by August this year from the current 
500MW, after the completion of repair to Units 1 and 2 of Hwange power 

Mbiriri said treasury had so far injected more than US$50 million, with 
Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) pumping US$40 million into the project.
Part of the project to repair the ash and handling plant at a cost of US$35 
million was being financed by the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (Zimfund) 
and was also expected to be complete by 2013.

The EU-sponsored fund is administered by Africa Development Bank (AfDB), 
with ZPC as the implementing agent.

AfDB is also administering under Zimfund, an urgent water supply and 
sanitation rehabilitation project for the municipalities of Harare, 
Chitungwiza, Mutare, Masvingo, Kwekwe and Chegutu in line with the 
government’s Short-Term Emergency Recovery Programme (Sterp).

Mbiriri said in order to address the erratic power supply holistically, the 
ministry would have to focus more on the transmission and distribution grid.
However, this would be a challenge, given the archaic primary equipment 
available, he said.

“A lot of primary equipment is very old and urgently needs to be 
refurbished,” Mbiriri said. “Key equipment such as reactors are out of 
service due to their old age as most of these were installed in the 1960s.”

Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company is also set to 
embark on a roll-out programme to install 5,5 million compact fluorescent 
lamps in homes and institutions to save electricity.

Mbiriri said the exercise would save about 180MW of power, adding this would 
also help the prepaid metering programme to be launched this year.

Zimbabwe is facing chronic power shortages, where output is about 1300MW 
against national demand of 2200MW, albeit total installed capacity is 1960 
MW. According to a Medium-Term Plan review report, domestic power generation 
declined by 1,2% to 1280MW in January and February from the 1295MW 
registered in December 2011. 

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.

Read more: Ratepayers Accuse Power Utility of Corruption

Chinese firm fails environment assessment

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

ZESA Lost Money to RBZ - Comptroller and Auditor General

10 hours 27 minutes ago
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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 
sometimes bribed.

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

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 
every month.

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

Plans to expand Kariba power plant hit snag

Monday, 11 June 2012 12:15

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 
generational capacity.

“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 
be found.

“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.

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