Lights out threatens in Zimbabwe

2012-02-13 22:35

Harare - Zimbabwe's energy minister warned on Monday the country risks losing electricity imports from its major supplier if it fails to pay a $90m debt to Mozambique's Hydro Cahora Bassa dam.

"That is one debt that we have got to service because if we do not service it our major source of power will go away," Minister Elton Mangoma told a committee of lawmakers.

Mangoma said the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has piled up almost a billion dollars in unpaid electricity imports, unserviced loans and outstanding contributions to a joint power project with neighbour Zambia.

"At this stage with the cashflows of ZESA there is no possibility of re-paying them. We are not planning in the short-term to have them repaid but that treasury when they are looking at their debt management will be able to look at that."

He said ZESA owes about $800m of old loans, and $94m in electricity imports including about $90m to Hydro Cabora Bassa, the Mozambican hydroelectric dam that is its main supplier. It also owes $70m to Zambia.

Zimbabwe needs about 2 200MW of electricity at peak but generates just 1 300MW, importing the remainder.

Mangoma said is owed ZESA $400m in unpaid electricity bills by consumers, and announced plans to cut off defaulters.

ZESA plans to introduce pre-paid meters to improve its revenue and avoid resorting to charges based on estimates.

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.

Authorities also increased charges 31% last year to 9.83 cents per kilowatt hour.

  • Patrick - 2012-02-14 02:27

    great news!!!

      Ian - 2012-02-14 10:58

      Reminds me of that old joke; 'what did they use in Zim before candles?'......electricity!

  • BrainbowGold - 2012-02-14 02:41

    Mugabe is darkness personified.

  • jack.oosthuysen - 2012-02-14 09:02

    So we can expect another inflow of homeless demoralised people from across the border. Last weekend 8 zimbabweans robbed a man called Randani of his cellphone and 2 cigarettes, mutilated and killed him in Thohoyandou. Thank you Robert Mugabe for another senseless act of barbarism. You may never be charged with genocide in a court of law. But you will go down as the biggest dictator in Africa. I

  • Cristina - 2012-02-14 09:44

    Mugabe are you happy for messing up a once beautiful and rich country?!!!!! pay your bills dude!!!!!!!

  • Davin - 2012-02-14 10:19

    Is that 9.83 American, Zimbabwe or South African cents?

  • braamc - 2012-02-14 11:28

    Can the cancer progress already!

      Anthony - 2012-02-14 12:10

      is he still alive

  • Gerhard - 2012-02-14 15:28

    The lights in Zimbabwe have been out for a long time already.

  • Amanda - 2012-02-23 12:14

    Take Mugabe's money. Let him pay. He is old and do not need so much money.

  • ntombenhle.magutshwa - 2012-07-28 09:53

    For those of you not aware, Zim has been steadily improving since we adopted the US currency, so things have been better than you can imagine for a few years. As for South Africa, as someone who built their professional career in JNB, CPT and across the country, please! Dont be quick to judge!! Your country is anything but paradise, Zimbos run there because what else can you do when your family is starving. Did we not grow up in Bulawayo etc with South Africans all around us whose fathers or mothers had escaped Arpartheid? And who quickly returned and denied any involvement with Zimbabwe in 1994? Just watch how many South Africans will be flocking to Zimbabwe when the ANC is finished with you. You will be begging for Visas to Zim

      leaproach.thekeeper - 2012-07-28 10:08

      LOL…you're a joke!

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