News24

Mozambique denies cutting Zimbabwe off

2012-03-15 20:11

Harare - Mozambique's Cahora Bassa dam on Thursday denied cutting power to Zimbabwe, which had claimed the state-owned company had pulled the plug over unpaid bills totalling around $75m.

"Hydro Cahora Bassa switched off supplies to Zimbabwe on Thursday or Friday last week over the money owed which is around $75m or $76m," Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma told AFP.

"We are now switching off defaulters as part of efforts to raise the money," he said.

But the Cahora Bassa dam, which supplies nearly a fifth of the power it produces to Zimbabwe, said this was not the case.

"We would like to inform you that we have not cut electricity to Zimbabwe. That information is misinformed," Rosaque Guale, a board member of the state-owned Cahora Bassa Hydropower Company told AFP.

Several suburbs of the capital Harare have gone for days without electricity, while other places suffer up to 10 hours of power cuts, as the utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) comes under pressure to save power.

Zimbabwe needs 2 200MW of electricity at peak but generates just 1 300MW and imports the remainder, including 100 to 185MW from Hydro Cahora Bassa.

The dam produces 2 075MW of energy a year. South Africa buys 65%t, while Zimbabwe gets a 19% share.

Last month, Mangoma warned a parliamentary committee that Zimbabwe risked being cut off if it failed to settle its debt with Hydro.

He said ZESA had accumulated almost a billion dollars in unpaid electricity imports, unserviced loans and outstanding contributions to a joint power project with neighbouring Zambia.

The firm also plans to introduce pre-paid meters to improve its revenue collection.

Last year ZESA announced it would hand out more than 5.5 million power-saving fluorescent light bulbs to households across the country to curb consumption.

Comments
  • Lacrimose - 2012-03-15 20:48

    Yep and you can bet that the ZA govt 'motivated' the Mozambique govt not to. South Africa cannot afford Zimbabwe and Swaziland to collapse. The cost to keep them collapsing at bay is akin to what is going on with the Euro. The consequences for us, Nam, Lesotho, Bots would be catastrophic. Quiet Diplomacy has its price

  • Cracker - 2012-03-15 22:01

    Zimbabwe has a reported figure of 80% unemployed. If the dispersion of Zims outside Zimbabwe had to be reversed right now the figure would climb to at least 98% unemployed. At least we should know that we as South Africans will find no solace in that area of the world once the same policies as in Zimbabwe fail here.

      Lacrimose - 2012-03-15 22:18

      Interesting that ZA declared the Zim 'amnesty' over a few months ago and started 'returning' Zim citizens and tightening border control. More 'quiet diplomacy' tactics? AU, SADEC and ZA's policy on Zimbabwe is still unclear. Guess we'll have to wait for the total collapse for all to be revealed. I see an administrative govt being imposed on Zim - "to stabilise the region"

  • arne.verhoef - 2012-03-15 22:14

    Why deny it? Screw Mugabe and his cronies

  • Mark - 2012-03-15 23:50

    Not looking too bright in Zim. Bit of a shock...

  • Warwick - 2012-03-16 09:16

    Unpaid money, no way, Mugabe has billions. Just look at all the shopping sprees he and his family enjoy each year. Look how fat and healthy all the ministers are. This bastion of human rights would never not pay their accounts. This is a free and just society and all the Zimbos leaving in droves are enemies of the state.

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