Zimbabwe: Parly to Summon Chasi Over Power Outages

Photo: The Herald
Fortune Chasi is the new Minister of Energy and Power Development.

Parliament will soon order Energy and Power Development Minister, Fortune Chasi to update the nation on the worsening power situation and what is being done to address it.

The move comes as latest data from the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), which manages water used to produce power at the Kariba hydro-electric station, revealed that the water levels were worsening.

Zimbabwe's power utility, Zesa Holdings is currently implementing load shedding to declining power production, a situation that was made worse by low water levels in the Zambezi River basin due to drought experienced in the 2018/19 season.

Proportional representation Member of Parliament Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga said on Tuesday it was imperative that the government told the nation the state of the country's power situation.

"Zesa has given us a timetable on when we would be load shed but they are not following it," she told the National Assembly.

"If we do not have electricity in this country they should say so."

Ms Misiharambwi-Mushonga said the power outages, which in some cases were more than the earlier advertised 10 hours per day, were impacting on business.

Speaker, Jacob Mudenda agreed with the legislator and that the Energy Minister be given time to address the nation.

Zesa partly blames the drop in power production to the serious water situation at Kariba. The ZRA says water levels in the Kariba reservoir, which provides water to the power station, continued to deteriorate and stood at 29 percent full as on Monday.

During the same period last year, the water levels were at 85 percent.

The drop in water levels has resulted in ZRA rationing water that is provided to Kariba power stations for power production.

The shortages have exposed a serious lack of investment in the sector over the year.

Zimbabwe requires around 2 000 Mega Watts but due to current challenges, is producing less than half of the required power.

To compound the situation, Zesa is constantly having production challenges at Hwange, its coal powered station, due to breakdowns. -- New Ziana.

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