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Zimplats lends ZESA US$25 million
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
“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
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
Saturday, 21 July 2012 19:00
BY MOSES CHIBAYA
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
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
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.
MEASURES BEING TAKEN
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.
GENERATION CAPACITY AND SUPPLY SIDE ACTIVITIES
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
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.
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.
DEMAND SIDE MANAGEMENT
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
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
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.
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
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
OTHER INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES
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
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
# 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)
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.
POLICY DOCUMENT LAUNCH
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Thursday, 05 July 2012 16:54
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.
Chinese firm fails environment assessment
Friday, 15 June 2012 11:55
BULAWAYO — Plans by Africa Sunlight Energy to commercially exploit methane
gas in Matabeleland North have suffered a major blow after the Chinese firm
failed an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The company has since been ordered to halt operations, dashing hopes for
alternative power generation in the region.
Africa Sunlight Energy was in the middle of exploring coal and coal-bed
methane in Gwayi with a view to establish a power station.
But the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is of the view that its report
was not convincing.
EMA spokesperson, Steady Kangaka told The Financial Gazette that the agency,
as the custodian of the environment, would not give a go ahead to projects
that might harm the ecosystem.
“The development we want is a sustainable one which will remain long after
we have departed from this planet. It must be economically, socially and
environmentally friendly. If one of those parameters is missing then as EMA
we cannot give a go ahead,” said Kangaka.
“It has to be done in a proper manner. In this instance, the company wants
to mine near a conservancy area therefore we have to be absolutely sure that
it will not interrupt with water supply and wildlife,” he added.
The Gwayi Valley Intensive Conservation Area had also complained about the
growing number of coal mining companies operating in the conservancy fearing
their operations would destroy the hunting and photographic safaris, which
are their major source of revenue in the wildlife-rich area.
During a consultative stakeholders meeting last month, it emerged that
open cast coal-mining activities have affected 32 farms in the conservancy
where more than 1 000 people reside.
Of late, several companies have been given rights to start mining and
exploration activities in the coal-rich region, with the latest being
Discovery Investments Company, which was given the green light to conduct
coal bed methane gas exploration in Mzola and Dandanda communal lands in
Lupane and Binga districts; Markrock Exploration and Mining Company for coal
exploration in the Gwayi area of Lupane as well as Glotech Engineering for
a Spiral Plant at Hwange Colliery.
Recently, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu announced
that more companies were keen on investing in mining activities in
Matabeleland North and took a swipe at the Gwayi Catchment Council
stakeholders for trying to block the new investments, which he said will go
a long way in uplifting the livelihoods of ordinary people.
Economic commentator, Eric Bloch, said it will take time before the methane
gas is fully exploited to provide alternative power for the whole
country. — Own Correspondent.
ZESA Lost Money to RBZ - Comptroller and Auditor General
10 hours 27 minutes ago
HARARE - June 16, 2012 – Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has
lost slightly over US$1million from its tobacco farming activities after the
funds were forfeited by the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the Comptroller
and Auditor General Mildred Chiri has said in her latest report.
The top government auditor also revealed that ZESA risks losing nearly
US$5million held by banks in South Africa and China.
“I noted that there were tobacco sales to Zimbabwe Leaf Tobacco amounting to
US$1 299 412, 40 that have not been recovered for a period of over two
years. ZLT instructed RBZ to make a transfer of the funds to ZESA
enterprises. However, the RBZ took the funds citing that ZESA holdings has a
debt owing to RBZ which RBZ decided to set off. ZESA enterprises was still
reflecting this trade debtor in their accounts as owing,” said Chiri.
“Recommendation- the debt should be transferred to ZESA holdings upon
reaching mutual consensus or provide for the debt in full. Concerted effort
should be made to resolve this issue.”
The report added that ZESA was losing revenue due to non billing of
customers as most farmers were not being due to their hostility to meter
readers. It added that ZESA officials sent to disconnect defaulters were
It said US$4; 2 million was held with South Africa’s FNB bank and US$33 000
by Escrow bank of China and no follow ups have been made on the money for
“No reconciliations were prepared for the accounts as no statements were
received. In the prior year no reconciliations were prepared due to the same
reason. Thus there has been no correspondence with the banks for the past
three years,” Chiri said in her report.
ZESA slammed for sticking with estimated bills
By Alex Bell
15 June 2012
Zimbabwe’s Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has been slammed for
continuing to issue estimated bills to power users across the country,
despite the unreliable service provided.
ZESA’s Chief Executive, Josh Chifamba, said this week that the power utility
does not have the money to pay for meter readers. He told the parliamentary
portfolio committee on state enterprises and parastatals that they have no
choice but to keep asking for payment based on estimates, because meter
readers would mean raising rates.
A report from that same committee has revealed that there was no correlation
between the ZESA charges and services rendered, with some users being
charged, despite not using power.
“For example, one lady in Cowdray Park, Bulawayo, during one of the meetings
stated that while she was away in South Africa for three months after having
settled her bills and locked the house, upon return she found a US$500 bill
awaiting her despite the house being uninhabited. The lady informed the
committee that efforts to get ZESA to rectify that had not yielded any
results,” the report said.
The report also said that many consumers, who had gone for days without
electricity due to faults in the ZESA system, still received high bills
Simbarashe Moyo from the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
slammed ZESA for what he called their “incompetence and insincerity.” He
told SW Radio Africa that ZESA bills do not tally with the service being
provided, and often “there is no service to speak of.”
“This is a parastatal that clearly does not care at all about the plight of
residents. Most people don’t have jobs, they can’t afford the bills, but if
they don’t pay they get cut off,” Moyo said.
The CHRA official said that privatisation of the electricity authority
should be seriously considered, because the entire country was being
affected by ZESA’s mismanagement.
“Parastatals like ZESA are not doing well because they are run on the basis
of government nepotism. So it would be good to privatise because once you
invite competition, you’ll have better service. And all Zimbabweans want is
proper service,” Moyo said.
ZESA was earlier this year forced into defending itself after it was
revealed that top level government officials were defaulting on their bills,
but still receiving service. This included the Mugabe family, who owed more
than US$300,000 to the utility.
These revelations came as ZESA recommitted itself to cutting off all bill
defaulters. But to date only general members of the public have been
punished in this way.
Plans to expand Kariba power plant hit snag
Monday, 11 June 2012 12:15
BY NQABA MATSHAZI
PLANS by Zimbabwe to add two more generators to Kariba South have all but
hit a brick wall, with the authority responsible for Kariba Dam saying the
project was not feasible.
Zimbabwe, which shares the Kariba dam with Zambia, was hoping that the new
generators would help ease power shortages and load-shedding, which are
common in the country.
“We have looked at the feasibility of the project and there is not enough
water to run continuous power generation, unless they propose to do so
during the rainy season peak periods,” Wilson Sakala, the Zambezi River
Authority senior manager for Water Resources and Environmental Management
“We fear that if it is continuously run, there won’t be enough water in the
dam. However, when it’s not during the rainy season, the two units can run
but only for shorter periods and that means when the dam is full to
capacity, we no longer have to open the floodgates.”
But the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) insisted that it would go ahead with
the project, as it was looking to expanding Kariba South to increase
“It has not been communicated to us that there are problems with our
expansion project. In fact we have been advised that the water levels are
always high in the Kariba Dam.
“Early this year, during a tour of the dam by Sadc, we were apprised on the
advantages of adding two more units,” Fadzai Chisveto, ZPC spokesperson
However, the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (Zamcom), which administers the
Zambezi River on behalf of the eight countries that are on the basin, says
Zimbabwe’s only chance of increasing power generation is based on its
ability to look for foreign investors.
“If Zimbabwe cannot buy enough power from the existing Sadc power pool, the
only solution is for the country to open doors to partners that can fund its
power projects,” Michael Mutale, Zamcom executive secretary said.
Countries on a cross-border water course like the Zambezi are supposed to
inform each other of any projects that they are working on the river, so
that it does not affect other nations who are either up or downstream.
There are eight countries on the Zambezi watercourse and these have to okay
Zimbabwe’s plans on power generation, which also have to be approved by the
ZRA, which administers the Kariba Dam on behalf of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Countries on the Zambezi watercourse are Botswana, Angola, Zambia, Malawi
Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Sadc hopes for speedy resolution
Sadc hopes that the issue of adding more generators at Kariba power plant
may be resolved accordingly. Phera Ramoeli, Sadc senior programme officer
for water, said despite technical obstacles to Zimbabwe’s installing
additional generating capacity at Kariba South, he expected a solution would
“I am sure these are only technical issues but Zambia and Zimbabwe will iron
out these between themselves and find a win-win solution since ZRA is a body
that works in the best interests of the two,” he said.
Zesa employees cash in on defaulting residents
Monday, 11 June 2012 14:54
BY JENNIFER DUBE
HARARE — Some Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) employees are
cashing in on desperate Glen Norah residents, charging them an average of
US$30 per household to avoid power disconnection, a residents’ rights
organisation has said.
The Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) last week said some Zesa employees were
demanding payment to stop disconnecting defaulting residents’ power.
“Residents in the area have resorted to bribing Zesa employees around US$30
to avoid disconnection of electricity. Several residents have done this in
the community and continue to fall prey to the Zesa employees,” said the
The residents, said HRT, also complained that most of their electricity
bills were not a true reflection of consumption at household levels, as they
were based on estimates. They also complained about faulty billing and
excessive load-shedding in the suburb.
The residents also said Zesa officials were very uncooperative and hostile
whenever they attempted to seek detailed explanations on their accounts.
Zesa spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira, professed ignorance that some Zesa
employees were getting paid by defaulting residents to avoid disconnections.
He urged residents to pay the bills at banking halls and not to individuals.
“Whoever is paying that US$30 is being cheated and they are doing themselves
a disservice because their bills remain the same and even increase the
following month,” said Gwasira.
“One is better off paying that US$30 to Zesa and having their bill lowered
by the same amount and not giving it to someone for temporary relief, but
still risk disconnection.” He urged the public to report such people to
ZESA to continue with disconnections: Gwasira
Gwasira however said the disconnections to defaulting residents in Glen View
and other areas would continue. “It is not like we have a special operation
against residents in that area,” he said.
“This is just a routine operation,” said Gwasira. “We read meters, send
bills and expect payment, but some residents do not pay, prompting us to
send reminders in the form of a second bill. We are open to those who want
to negotiate payment plans but some ignore us, leaving us with no option but
to disconnect, which is the last resort.”
Gwasira said Zesa reads 80% of meters every month and starts with the other
20 the following month. He said rate payers should know that there is a
direct relationship between payments and the quality of service delivered.
“The better payment we receive, the better the service we deliver because we
use the money to improve our services,” he said.
Zim-Zambia partnership could ease ZESA woes
Zimbabwe’s power supply is hoped to improve following a partnership the
country entered into with Zambia to develop the electricity generation
capacity of the Batoka gorge.
by Sofia Mapuranga
The project, already captured in the Southern African Development Community
(Sadc) Infrastructure Investment prospectus, will see the country exploring
means to develop the Batoka gorge for the production of energy.
The project involves the construction of a dam and a hydro power plant on
the Zambezi River.
The potential capacity of the site is 1 600 MW to be shared equally between
Zambia and Zimbabwe Addressing delegates on Tuesday at the official opening
of the fifth River Basins Organisations workshop being held in Harare under
the theme “Monitoring the implementation of the Sadc Protocol on shared
watercourses”, the Minister of Water Resources Management, Sam Sipepa Nkomo
said there was need for a systematic and consistent implementation of the
“It is in this light that in partnership with the Republic of Zambia, we are
exploring means to develop the Batoka gorge. Water plays a major role in
energy production in Zimbabwe,” said Nkomo.
“In SADC, we have the necessary instruments and institutions to foster
integrated water resources management at the river basin level,” he added.
Nkomo said the speedy implementation of the agreed action points was
critical because water remained a critical component of the development
agenda in the region.
“The onus is on water authorities to ensure that the water sector is managed
efficiently and in line with international best practices,” he said.
Zimbabwe has over the years suffered poor power supplies because of limited
local generation capacity, lack of funds to import adequate electricity and
a scaling down of provisions from the region.
He said the establishment of sufficient institutional development for
trans-boundary waters had the capacity to enhance cooperation between
countries and could boost regional socio-economic development and
“Trans-boundary waters can make a contribution towards regional peace if the
institutional capacity exists to manage them cooperatively for the benefit
of all basin states,” he said.
The Sadc Director of Infrastructure and Services, Remigious Makumbe, said
water was a key pillar of the economy, adding that there was need to scale
up its availability to ensure food security in the region.
“Water is the engine for economic growth and many of our member states
continue to face the challenge of access to water supply and sanitation,” he
He added: “It is important for SADC countries to build strategic water
infrastructure that will increase land under irrigation to ensure the
availability of water and guarantee food security in the region.”
The fifth RBOs workshop aims to build a consensus on Sadc strategies to
support the efforts of member states in the establishment of institutional
It is also seeking to strengthen and develop RBOs and other joint
trans-boundary water resources management mechanisms in the region.
ZESA Angers Glen Norah Residents
HRT Membership Desk
4 June 2012, Glen Norah – ZESA has adopted punitive measures to defaulting
residents here who have not been paying their electricity bills consistently
by embarking in wide spread electricity disconnections. Residents in the
area have various reasons why they have not been settling their monthly
electricity bills. Residents feel that electricity bills are based on
estimates and are not a true reflection of the consumption at household
level, load shedding and faulty billing. This has frustrated some
breadwinners in the community who earn way below the poverty datum line.
This has left them with what they said “no reason to pay electricity bills”.
This contradicts the HRT policy which advocates for shared responsibility
between residents and service providers in service delivery. From the HRT’s
perspective, residents should exhibit their responsibility in service
delivery mainly by paying bills for services rendered. However, rates
should be affordable for the good of the greater public.
Having received the reports of massive power disconnections from the Glen
Norah B’ Residents’ Committee (GRC), that is responsible for monitoring and
evaluating community service delivery by service providers, the HRT
facilitated a mobile case work clinic in the area. From the interviews held
by the HRT Membership Officer, Simbarashe Majamanda, HRT Community
Coordinator Ms Abigail Itayi and the HRT Programs Intern, Mr Marshall
Masiyazi from the Midlands State University on Tuesday 29 May 2012 in Glen
Norah B Community, the dire economic situation of the country has affected
the capacity of residents to pay electricity bills. Most residents
appreciated that they have an obligation to pay for their electricity but
they have failed due to their socio-economic status. Eighty-nine (89)
reports from 53 women and 36 men were received and documented by the HRT
team within three hours at one of the households in the community.
The local Member of Parliament Honourable Gift Dzirutwe is seriously
concerned with the situation. He has helped the residents to deal with the
situation through sharing information and providing transport to the ZESA
offices in the city centre.
The following key issues came from the interviews:
Economic problems: Elderly men and women interviewed aged between 59 and
75 said they lack a source of income which has affected their capacity to
settle their electricity bills. Elderly women said that most of them are
widowed and they rely mostly on vending activities which does not give them
much money for survival. As vendors they also face challenges from the
Zimbabwe Republic Police and Municipal Police who conduct raids in the name
of illegal vending activities. This clearly shows that they also lack access
to designated vending points or that they do not afford them if they are
Faulty billing: Residents said that even if they make payments to ZESA,
the debt continues to sky rocket. “It appears making a payment is an
indication that you have a bit of money that ZESA can suck from you” said
one elderly man aged 85 who showed that he does not have any hope to clear
his debt which currently stands at $954.21 Account Number 283786651. The man
went on to say that he was prepared to pay $45.00 per month for electricity.
Growing insecurity: There is a feeling that residents may lose their
properties just as what happened to three households in Mabvuku after debt
collectors confiscated their properties due to outstanding water rates in
February 2012. Elderly women said that the high debts have caused insecurity
to their children who are the heirs to their properties which they have also
not fully acquired from council under the “rent to buy program”.
Unprofessional conduct by ZESA employees: Some of the interviewees
revealed that ZESA officials are very uncooperative and hostile whenever
they attempt seeking detailed explanations on their accounts. Residents in
the area have resorted to bribing ZESA employees around $30.00 to avoid
disconnection of electricity. Several residents have done this in the
community and continue to fall prey to the ZESA employees.
Transition to multicurrency system: Although the ZESA Public Relations
Officer, Mr Fullard Gwasira reported to HRT Communications Officer, Mr
Shingayi Jena that ZESA indicated that ZESA scrapped off debts from
residents accounts following the transition from the Zimbabwe dollar era to
the multi-currency regime in February 2009, residents in the area are of the
view that the transition was ill- managed and lacked transparency. From the
residents’ viewpoint, the debts have accumulated largely due to estimated
billing, the manipulated transition from the local currency to the
multi-currency system, and the interest charged on overdue accounts.
Current situation: HRT offices are overwhelmed by residents who have ZESA
complaints and they require ZESA’s assistance. The HRT Membership Desk is
receiving reports of unprofessional conduct by the Harare ZESA Sales
Managers specifically the ZESA Sales Manager who are telling referred
clients that they are not prepared to read HRT referral letters in which the
HRT writes to seek their intervention on individual cases. ZESA is saying
that residents whose electricity was disconnected are supposed to settle
their bills in full. According to one female client this morning, the ZESA
sales manager told her that he was not going to read her letter. She
mentioned that she is prepared to pay $50.00 per month. She was advised
that she could pay the $50.00 per month until her debt is cleared then her
electricity would be reconnected. Last week, some clients were assisted by
the Sales Manager but it was upon payment of 25% of the debt which was
reduced to the previous 50% requirement. There is growing tension between
ZESA and the residents of Glen Norah. Some residents have resorted to
reconnecting power illegally which is contrary to the HRT policy. They have
and are also using the few dollars they had reserved to paying their
electricity for other pressing needs at household level.
If the situation continues, ZESA employees face the risk of experiencing a
backlash from disgruntled residents. It is up to ZESA to treat residents
with respect or regret their uncalled for actions. It is time to change the
approach or be forced to change the approach! The choice is for ZESA to
This will not benefit ZESA or the resident. We need to be realistic to
address residents’ needs as well as the capacity needs of ZESA as the
ZESA seals US$230m India deal
THE Zimbabwe Power Company has signed a $230 million memorandum of
understanding with India’s Wapcos Ltd to overhaul the country’s three
The plants covered are Bulawayo, Hwange and Munyati, Zimbabwe Power, the
power generating unit of Zesa Holdings (Pvt) Ltd., said in a newsletter
The memorandum also includes a feasibility study for the Gairezi hydro-power
station and upgrading the Deka pumping station for Hwange Power Station,
It didn’t say when the agreement was signed.
The power utility is struggling to meet national demand with supplies being
rationed to both commercial and domestic users.
Zesa currently generates about 1,116 megawatts of electricity today against
a national demand of between 1,900 to 2,200 megawatts and tries to plug the
gap with imports from regional suppliers.
Govt to restructure energy sector
Written by Taurai Mangudhla, Business Writer
Monday, 04 June 2012 14:40
HARARE - Zimbabwe plans to restructure its energy sector and make way for
independent power distribution firms, Zesa Holdings (Zesa) chief executive
Josh Chifamba said.
He told a Thursday Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Annual General
Meeting, the move was in line with government’s plans to improve utility
services while establishing an independent power regulator.
“There is a lot of progress on that and I wouldn’t want to pre-empt it (but)
there is a whole white paper on that and the minister is supposed to present
it to cabinet,” Chifamba said without giving specifics of the proposed new
The energy sector is currently regulated by Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory
The Zesa chief’s remarks came after Francis Masawi, an engineer and regional
independent energy consultant, argued there was an imminent need to
restructure the country’s power sector.
He said the current single buyer model-only by Zimbabwe Electricity
Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC)-was an impediment to
investment in the energy sector.
“Imagine you have a private production company and you want to sell to a
sole buyer that is owed $500 million by their consumers, how
are they likely to pay,” Masawi said.
“That thing (the single buyer model) must be done away with; it doesn’t
exist in the Act. It was only transitional.”
Masawi said Zesa should assume a role of shareholder only.
He said competition should be introduced in the supply side of electricity
just as it is required in the petroleum sector.
“Whatever the reason, the current structure has failed to resuscitate the
Zimbabwe currently has capacity to generate about 1 200 MW of
electricity, mainly from Kariba Hydro Power Station and Hwange Power Station
(HPS) compared to a rising national demand of around 2 200MW.
The country’s generation capacity is now half of what it used to be in 1980
when the economy and population was smaller.
New projects that are meant to improve the current deficit position could
take longer to commence after potential takers for the country’s HPS
rehabilitation project asked for a one month extension on the June 5,
Chifamba said this would delay adjudication of tender to restore HPS unit
seven and eight to end of July.
“If we get to a financial close by the end of the year then by early 2016
there should be something coming out of the two projects,” he said, adding
his organisation was aware of the anxiety among Zimbabweans for an immediate
power solution. Zesa, Chifamba said, was not spared by the country’s
decade-long economic stagnation and needs a lot of investment.
“The state of the equipment at all levels is appalling and dangerous.
That explains the number of accidents we are having now.”
In February government announced plans to unbundle the Zimbabwe Electricity
Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) into two separate entities to
improve operating efficiency.
ZETDC is responsible generating, transmitting and distributing power and was
formed in 2002 after government unbundled ZETDC into different companies
The Electricity Act ushered in the formation of five successor companies,
the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Company
(Zetco), Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZEDC), Zesa Enterprises
and Powertel Communications.
ZEDC’s business is the distribution and retail of electricity to the final
In line with the approved structure, all power generation assets and
operations are under ZPC.
Zesa Enterprises, another subsidiary of Zesa Holdings comprises of four
business units namely Zesa Technology Centre, Production and Services,
Transport Logistics and Projects.
It is a flexible investment arm for Zesa Holdings that has a diversified
‘Zesa abandons load shedding schedule’
Saturday, 02 June 2012 18:09
POWER supply remains erratic in most parts of Harare with the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) failing to stick to a load shedding
schedule it published in the media recently, seriously affecting many
Despite the long hours of power cuts, residents complain of exorbitant bills
at the end of every month. The cost of electricity is affecting thousands of
households as they have to buy paraffin and firewood at a higher cost, yet
still have to settle their bills.
Community coordinator, Ronia Gwaze, said that residents of Vainona and
Hatcliffe suburbs had electricity cut off recently due to unpaid electricity
bills. Abrupt power outages have resulted in electrical gadgets being
damaged. In Vainona, a house at 14114 Tern Avenue was gutted by fire caused
by a burst paraffin stove during one of the numerous power outages. Some
residents have resorted to using generators or solar lights because of the
constant power cuts.
Water supplies in Waterfalls remain poor with most areas going without the
commodity for several days. During the past week, several residents had
their water disconnected by the City of Harare yet supplies are erratic. The
water bills are so high that most residents feel they are unjustified.
Residents in Glen View are receiving water three times a week. Given this
situation, residents have to queue at the few boreholes sunk by humanitarian
Women and school-going children wake up very early to line up for water and
at times are bullied at the boreholes. Some residents in areas without the
boreholes have dug shallow wells which are unprotected, raising fears of
Health and Environment
Refuse is not being collected in Mbare National and Mbare Musika. The same
situation prevails in Waterfalls at shopping centres such as Park Town and
Zindoga business centre. Residents of Hatcliffe Extension have resorted to
burying or burning rubbish in pits.
This is quite the opposite of what is happening in Hatcliffe 1, where there
is frequent refuse collection. Refuse is supposed to be collected every
Saturday in Glen View but they hardly come. This has led to residents
throwing rubbish everywhere in the area, along the roads and on street
Residents in most parts of Harare pay for their plumbing services if they
experience blocked sewer pipes on their premises. This is despite that
council plumbers are supposed to provide that service to the residents. — By
Harare Residents Trust (HRT)
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