President Mnangagwa blames economic growth for electricity shortages

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By Darlington Gatsi

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has claimed that electricity challenges currently haunting the country is being caused by economic growth.

Zimbabwe was last month plunged into darkness following an announcement by Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) that water levels at Kariba Dam had drastically fallen.

The country depends on Kariba Hydro Power Station for electricity which at optimum produces 1 600 megawatts of electricity but has fallen to 300 megawatts.

Writing in his column in the state weekly paper, President Mnangagwa said the growth of the economy has led to higher demand for electricity.

“Challenges in energy sector I would be dishonest to create an impression that the year 2022 has been without its challenges. It delivered a few headaches whose resolution we continue to work towards. One such challenge is that of energy and power.

“The irony of it all is that this challenge has been bred by our phenomenal success in growing our economy and in attracting new investments.

“The rapid growth and expansion in both mining and industry, coupled with new investment projects across sectors, has increased demand for power, created a clear mismatch between power generation and supply on the one hand, and power demand and distribution on the other,” wrote President Mnangangwa.

Residents have been enduring more than 19 hours of power black outs, with the government desperate to find a solution to the crisis.

Experts have blamed the government’s murky and unfruitful electricity generation like the Gwanda solar projects whose tender was awarded  to Intratek, owned by controversial Wicknell Chivhayo.

Government is pinning hopes on the refurbishment of Hwange Power Station’s units and power imports to pluck the country from the electricity challenges.

Opposition MDC leaderDouglas Mwonzora says Zanu PF is to blame for the electricity problems, saying it was proactive in creating other electricity alternatives.

“We have no one to blame for the crisis save for the Zanu PF government which has clearly failed to avert this crisis in many ways.

“This is a national problem which needs a collective national solution. Apart from holding Zanu PF accountable for bad governance, together we have to avert the dangers associated with this crisis,” said Mwonzora.