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Consumers Urge Govt To Rescue ZESA As Power Cuts Worsen

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By Alois Vinga


BUSINESS and residents have urged the government to urgently assist, and rescue the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) to avert the increase in power cuts and avoid an economic downturn.

The remarks come as power outages have resurfaced across the country with some areas going for more than six hours without electricity daily.

Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com, the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) president, Israel Murefu said the resurfacing of power outages was untimely, and disruptive to business operations and production.

“Power cuts are a serious let down to business as they are disruptive to operations and production. That is the last thing we expected especially given other disruptions we are experiencing which are due to Covid-19 related lockdowns,” he said.

The employers’ boss said the power cuts would also erode the business enthusiasm when the impact of macro-economic stability was beginning to be felt on a positive trajectory.

“We do not want to take the clock back to the times of 30% or lower in terms of capacity utilisation and low productivity. We would ask that ZESA be assisted in whatever way possible to be able to power the country in general and business in particular,” he added.

Efforts by NewZimbabwe.com to get a comment ZESA spokesperson Prisca Utete were fruitless.

However, Energy Minister Soda Zhemu told the media this week that a surge in electricity imports from neighbouring South Africa overloaded ZESA’s network and caused power stations to fail.

The minister said power generation had since been restored at Kariba and at the time of communicating, it was the only one of the nation’s five power plants that was working as engineers tried to restore output at the Hwange units.

Meanwhile, the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) executive, Marvelous Kumalo said the state of service delivery was continuously deteriorating with most parastatals including ZESA failing to meet the demand for electricity.

“We are concerned as residents that the state of service delivery in general seems to be continuously deteriorating. It’s a pity that as a country we have failed to invest in alternative smart or green energy despite having plenty of sunshine in the country and solar energy will be a cheaper alternative. We urge government to change its policy direction to suit our affordability as a nation,” he said.