By Leopold Munhende
ENERGY Minister Fortune Chasi, who is usually calm and composed when speaking in public, blew his top last week under pressure from critics who follow him on social media.
Chasi laid into one of his Twitter followers accusing the character of “being political” on issues of energy shortages.
“Aaah tukai zvenyu. So you really felt my appointment would improve the water situation at Kariba or that I would pay the 1.2 billion owed to Zesa? Blaz? Be serious. You are a mature person. Isn’t you are a medical doctor? Urge people to clear the debt instead of being political and personal,” responded Chasi.
Chasi was appointed early this year by President Emmerson Mnangagwa amid optimism he might find solutions to perennial electricity and fuel shortages.
However, under his watch, fuel has gone up more than 200%, queues remain while power outages have worsened.
As if by some cruel fate, the country’s biggest hydro-power plant Kariba constructed in the late 1950s, is on the verge of a shutdown for the first time in over half a century after a crippling drought brought the dam down to unsustainable water levels.
One of Chasi’s followers accused the Minister of giving excuses and failing to find solutions to the many crises under his watch.
“In the meantime, the power supply situation is getting worse!! Just when we thought you were relatively smarter and pragmatic,” @nyikadoc had posted on Chasi’s Tweet.
The comments left Chasi seething, leading to the unusual outburst.
Chasi, who recently clinched a 400MW relief deal, from South Africa and is expected in Mozambique to grind out another concession, however triggered a volley of abuses
“And suddenly where has that calmness gone? Calm down Honourable it is not an easy feat skinning a snake, a live one for that matter. You cannot afford anger and frustration getting your way. Focus,” said Zebson Moyo (@ZebsonM).
Chasi, who took over from Jorum Gumbo a few months ago, is also facing a fuel crisis that threatens to grind the country to a halt.
“No need for emotional and irrational rants to concerned citizens who are eager to hold public office bearers to account for enhanced transparency in this democracy. #Tavepapi nekugadzirisa ma thermal stations? If only you rode Zupco buses with the rest of us,” said another.