Govt Criticised For Misleading Public On Load Shedding
Zimbabweans have taken to social media to express frustration over claims by the Government that unscheduled power cuts, known as load shedding, are now a thing of the past.
Speaking during a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, said:
Cabinet noted with satisfaction that the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority has announced the end to load-shedding as a result of the interventions implemented by the Second Republic thereby fulfilling the mantra “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/ Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo.Feedback
Zimbabwe Energy Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) acting managing director, Howard Choga, recently told State media that the current demand is sitting at about 1 850MW.
The Zimbabwe Power Company, another subsidiary of power utility ZESA Holdings, is failing to generate enough power to meet demand, while power imports remain negligible.
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On Friday, the 7th of July, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) reported a total power output of 1,577 MW from its five power plants. The Kariba power plant was generating 925 MW, Hwange 605 MW, Bulawayo 25 MW, Harare 12 MW, and Munyati 10 MW. However, this left a significant shortfall of 273 MW, which unfortunately cannot be covered by imports due to ZESA’s inability to settle outstanding payments with its regional suppliers. As a result, the citizens of Zimbabwe are presently experiencing daily power cuts lasting several hours. Posting on Twitter on 05 July, a Gweru-based ZESA customer wrote:
In Gweru, Zimbabwe, we are experiencing load shedding. Even today, we experienced it both in industrial areas and in high-density suburbs. Munomhanya kutaura zvekuda kufadza vanhu musina ruzivo rwakakwana nezvirikuitika munyika yese. (You rush to say things to please people when you do not have adequate information about the electricity supply situation across the whole country).
Choga said Zimbabwe is getting 100 megawatts from South Africa, and 60 MW from Mozambique.
Last week, ZESA consultant (international business) Cletus Nyachowe said that Kariba generates more than 800 MW for a short period of time. He said:
When you see us generating between 800MW and 892MW at Kariba, that power output is probably on for an hour or less.
While government officials are claiming that load shedding has ended, Zimbabweans are spending several hours daily without electricity. According to a Twitter poll conducted by Pindula this week, 41.4% of respondents reported experiencing load-shedding on a daily basis. 17.2% stated that they experience load-shedding weekly, while 37.9% reported that load-shedding has either been reduced or has stopped altogether. Only 3.4% of respondents claimed to experience load-shedding on a monthly basis.
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