By Paidashe Mandivengerei
ZIMBABWE Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) will be completely restructured in order to deal with graft that is crippling the power utility, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has revealed.
In his 2019 State of the Nation Address (SONA) Tuesday, Mnangagwa added government reviewed electricity tariffs as a relief to the power cuts which citizens are currently facing.
Water levels at Kariba Dam, the country’s biggest hydro-power supplier have dwindled this year following a drought and this resulted in power outages across the country.
“Due to the impact of climate change, our economy is facing severe electricity supply challenges, owing to reduced hydro-power generation capacity at Kariba Dam.
“To address this state of affairs, we have now restored the cost reflective electricity tariff structure and increased power imports to provide the much needed short term relief. More innovative initiatives will be implemented to ensure stability in the sector,” Mnangagwa said.
The Zanu PF leader further warned that the power utility will eventually be destroyed if corruption within the company is not dealt with.
Earlier this year, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi revealed Mnangagwa was gravely shocked by the level of graft at Zesa.
Over 15 Zesa senior managers including former chief executive officer, Joshua Chifamba were last year fired on corruption allegations.
“Zesa will be restructured, to enhance efficiency. I urge all of us to protect power installations in our areas.
“Initiatives must be developed at community level to bring to an end criminal activities which destroy these vital installations,” said the President.
In her latest audit report, Mildred Chiri unearthed rot at the power supply authority which a decade ago paid over US$4.9 million for two sets of transformers which were never delivered.
The company’s then executive board splashed money on top-of-the-range cars while paying no attention to the debt owed to South Africa’s power company, Eskom which reportedly amounted to US$33 million.
Meanwhile, electricity shortages continue with industry and domestic consumers having to endure up to 18 hours of load shedding.