MINISTERIAL BLACKOUT: MPs fume as Energy Minister as elusive as his electricity

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By Anna Chibamu

PARLIAMENTARIANS are getting impatient over failure by Energy minister Soda Zhemu to bring a ministerial statement over the state of electricity in the country.

Over the past month Zimbabweans have been struggling with daily electricity blackouts that can last as long as 19-hours with no prospect of immediate solutions from the government.

Speaking in Parliament Tuesday, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure told Speaker Jacob Mudenda that the energy minister was supposed to have brought a ministerial statement on the state of electricity supplies three weeks ago but had failed to do so.

The issue was brought up by another CCC MP, Fani Munengami, three weeks ago but still, the minister is yet to appear before the House.

As you are aware Mr. Speaker, this is our business part of the year as far as manufacturing is concerned. Industry uses electricity,” said Madzimure.

“Looking at the situation, we cannot wait any longer. What happens in industries is that you have your programmes and some of the equipment that we now use is digitalised to the extent that the moment it is interrupted, there are so many losses that the industry incurs.”

Madzimure condemned the lack of information to power consumers from the authorities.

This is because there is no information as to when to expect electricity and when it will go off,” he said.

“The information that industry is using is now sketchy, gathered in bits and pieces as no one really understands what is going on.”

He added; “Industry is also preparing for annual shutdowns and these also indicate to industry what they will then do next year.

“No one is certain at the moment and the Hon. Minister is quiet. This is quite disturbing. People must be informed about the budget that we are going to debate.

“Without that information, we are letting the country down and we do not expect miracles to meet even the budget.” 

Speaker Mudenda promised to follow up on the matter.

Zimbabwe has experienced a severe energy crisis since 2018 because its major sources of electricity are struggling to keep up with demand.