Zimbabwe is experiencing massive daily power cuts with the local power utility, ZESA citing foreign currency shortages, obsolete equipment, debt and severe decline of the water levels at Lake Kariba as major contributors.
Fraudulent dealings exposed by Auditor-General’s report for the financial year which ended 31 December 2018, however, suggest that ‘Corruption’ is the main contributing factor to the power crisis.
The report revealed that ZESA paid Pito Investments US$4,9 million for transformers nine years ago which were never delivered. Zesa subsidiary, Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), paid over US$560 000 to the same company for the supply of another set of transformers which were also never delivered. This is in addition to the US$5,1 million ZPC paid to ex-convict Wicknell Chivayo for the Gwanda solar project which is not even taking off.
The crisis has already registered negative impacts on business in the country. In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent, Chamber of Mines immediate past president, Batirai Manhando, said that power cuts have already resulted in widespread output losses.
He also noted that there has been more than a 10% decline in production compared to the same period in 2018 due to power outages. He warns that there will be a decline in foreign exchange earnings from the mining industry if the situation continues unabated.
Economist, Dr Godfrey Kanyenze has claimed that the situation is nothing short of a contradiction to the ‘Zimbabwe is Open for Business’ mantra. He said that business was no longer sustainable as power is only available at wee hours.
More: The Independent