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National Power Company overview
National Power Company executiveEng Josh Chifamba
Contact Numbers: +263 4 773302/04-10

+263 4 773314/16/18/19/24/28-31/34,
+263 4 774491/96/98-9 http://www.zesa.co.zw/

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, (ZESA) under the Ministry of Energy and Power Development was established as the producer, distributor, and regulator of Zimbabwe’s electrical power by Act in 1981 and formed in 1985. It has a number of subsidiary companies with various specialities in power generation, transmission distribution, regulation and communications.

Since then, the Electricity Acts of 1985, 1988, 1990, 1992, and 2001, have formed the current ZESA. Two acts, the Electricity Act (Chapter 13:19) and the Rural Electrification Fund Act (Chapter 13:20) refer.

This Act also formed the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Company (ZETCO), (now ZETDC), Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZEDC), ZESA Enterprises and PowerTel Communications.

Under the established structure, all power generation assets and operations are under the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) formed in October 1996. Distribution assets (the grid) and supply functions fall under the Zimbabwe Energy Distribution and Transmission Company (ZETDC). ZESA Enterprises (ZENT), is comprised of four business units namely ZESA Technology Centre, Production and Services, Transport Logistics and Projects.

A separate Rural Electrification Fund, a Board and Agency, have been set up under the Rural Electrification Fund Act, passed in January 2002. The Agency is administering a special fund to finance the rural electrification projects

Current structure


This was formed in 1996 as an investment vehicle in the generation of electricity and became operational in 1999. The organisation has been authorised to construct, own, operate and maintain power generation stations for the supply of electricity. ZPC currently operates four coal-fired power stations, Hwange, Bulawayo, Munyati and Harare thermal stations, and one hydropower station, Kariba South Power Station.

In June 2019 they produced about:

  • Hwange – 520MW
  • Bulawayo – 18MW
  • Munyati – 17MW
  • Harare – 17MW
  • Kariba – 200 to 650MW.

In June 2021 they produced:

  • Hwange - 164MW
  • Bulawayo - 0MW
  • Munyati - 0MW
  • Harare - 14MW
  • Kariba - 1023MW

In February 2023 they produced:

  • Hwange 74MW
  • Bulawayo 0MW
  • Munyati 0MW
  • Harare 0MW
  • Kariba 250MW


This is responsible for the transmission and distribution of electricity from the power stations, as well as its retailing to end-users.

ZENT works strategically as an organ responsible for investment for ZESA Holdings. It has a diversified business portfolio. It looks into new dimensions such as land development, irrigation works and installations, manufacturing electricity, end-use equipment, and development of new IT products and regional markets. It consists of four business units.

PowerTel Communication is a registered Internet services provider in Zimbabwe. In March 2011, Powertel extended to create a second gateway to the undersea cable Seacom. [1]


ZESA and its subsidiaries are owned by the relevant ministry - Ministry of Energy and Power Development.


The Electricity Act of 1936 established the Electricity Supply Commission, and it took over the Gweru, Mutare and Kadoma power stations. Harare and Bulawayo retained their power stations.

Kariba Dam construction was started in 1955, by the Federal Government and by 1960, the South Bank power station was completed and generating 600MW. In 1963, the Central African Power Corporation (CAPCO) was established as a result. In 1977 the North Bank power station came on line and added 600MW to production. In 1986, the South Bank generators were boosted to 750MW.

Construction of Hwange Thermal Power Station was begun in 1970, with coal to be supplied from the colliery via a 3.5km conveyor belt complex. Power was first produced in 1986, following delays caused by sanctions on Rhodesia and a boiler explosion in 1884.

The Electricity Act of 1985 established the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA). Until this time, Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare sold to their own customers at their own rates, and ESC did the rest of the country.

Zimbabwe is connected to the DRC through the Kariba connection with Zambia. It is also connected to Zambia at Victoria Falls and Chirundu. It is connected to South Africa at Beitbridge. And Mozambique to the Revue Hydro-Electric Scheme (Eastern Districts) and Cahora Bassa through the Bindura Intercoupler. [2]


Pre-Paid Metre Installation

ZESA embarked on a pre-paid metre installation project with the aim of reducing the national consumption levels. The idea was also meant to recover millions of dollars of unpaid bills by individuals, private companies as well as government departments. The replacement of the conventional billing system was also in line with the improvements in the Information and Communication systems. In March 2011 Powertel extended the backbone to Mutare into Mozambique to create a second gateway to the undersea cable Seacom. This provided an essential backup in terms of internet connectivity to ensure that the customer is never down.[3]

Load Shedding

ZESA has accumulated a number of nicknames due to its expert load shedding style. In Zimbabwe during winters, some residential areas especially in Harare go for dozens of hours without electricity. Winter wheat farmers are usually the most affected in terms of production since the crop requires electricity for irrigation. Some areas have also faced perennial blackouts by going for months without electricity. These inconsistencies have given Zesa Holdings an outlook of a weak and incompetent organisation in the eyes of the Zimbabwean public. In 2014, there was speculation that ZESA was in fact exporting electricity to countries such as Mozambique while the country was in "darkness".


ZESA Holdings has generally been underperforming, especially in terms of providing much-needed services such as electricity. There is also growing concern over the electricity rates being charged by the consumers which are high as compared to the regional rates. In contrast, the company has failed to combat financial challenges, especially with regards to the payment of its workers. In 2014, the company was marred with battles with its former employees for failing to honour some of its financial obligations.[4]

Related Profiles You Might Want to See

Prepaid Meter Scandal

An audit by the Auditor General revealed that the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) accepted a wrong consignment of prepaid meters destined for South Africa. The audit also revealed that 10 426 of the 502 858 deployed by ZETDC had failed as of 20 May 2016, which was well above the acceptable failure quantity of 1 508.

The 2017 audit report prepared by Auditor General, Mrs. Mildred Chiri revealed there was no evidence that ZETDC had used results of a pilot project conducted at a cost of $1,5 million. [5]

Further Reading

2021 - We Are Working On The Faults – ZESA To Harare Residents, [[1]]


  1. Who we are, Who we are, Retrieved: 13 October 2014
  2. [Katherine Sayce (Ed), Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe], Tabex, Encyclopedia Zimbabwe, Quest Publishing: 1987, Retrieved: 25 July 2019
  3. , Who we are, "ZESA Holdings", retrieved:13 Oct 2014"
  4. G. Sibanda, Zesa Holdings in salary storm, published:13 Oct 2014,retrieved:"
  5. Zesa in Prepaid Meter Scandal, , Published:22 January 2018 , Retrieved: 22 January 2018

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