Energy and Power Development Minister, Fortune Chasi, has dashed any hope that the current crippling power cuts will end any time soon.
Addressing the media after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Chasi said:
There are no miracle solutions for this. Kariba has gone down, it’s at 29 per cent. None of us here can make water to fill Kariba to 100 per cent but what we can do belatedly as it is, is to plan especially for things that we don’t control like climate change, drought and so forth and we have seen what is happening at Kariba and as a country, we need to ensure that there is investment in other areas, in other sources of power.
Chasi revealed that the challenges facing power generation are not just limited to the low water levels in Lake Kariba. He added:
We have fundamental issues to deal with. Our thermals are antiquated, they break down every day. When I say every day, I mean Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That’s where we are. It’s a difficult situation.
We need to enable coal miners to supply coal to the thermals. They need diesel, they are agitating for a price increase on coal. If we do that, it will impact ZPC (Zimbabwe Power Company) because they will have to pay a larger amount for coal but their tariff is very low.
Zimbabwe owes Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa and South Africa’s Eskom a combined US$83 million, making it impossible for the power utility to import more electricity.