Things are not well, Zimbabweans are having an average of 20 hours in darkness and if this is not a national crisis then we may need a new definition for the word, and government should not be allowed make an excuse or create a scapegoat.
Zimbabwe is well blessed to be regionally positioned to generate four sources of sufficient energy via the Hydro power, thus Kariba, Thermal in Hwange, Solar energy our God given gift and the “much touted” natural gas reserves discovered in Lupane.
While all these resources are ready to extract, it shocking that we have seen the government do nothing to get the ball rolling with solar tender deal going down 2years unresolved and no one is hitting the alarm button.
President Robert Mugabe has always been a man of great wisdom on how he tackles national issues but his recent utterances defending the minister of energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge raised mixed feelings.
In his recent statement, the president said that “Nyaya yemagetsi chinzwai vamwe vangangova nekushora Minister Undenge. Minister Undenge haasiye anogaya magetsi. (On the issue of electricity, some may want to blame Minister Undenge. He is not the one who generates electricity).
“Electricity is generated by drawing water from Kariba Dam through the turning of turbines. When dam levels are low, the generating capacity is also low. This previous year we received low rainfall,” he said.
President Mugabe said water flows from the equatorial regions in countries such as Angola that feed into Zambezi River were also low, thereby contributing to the low production of power at Kariba Hydro Power Station.
As such, the President said, all countries that relied on hydro power from Zambezi River were being affected.
“We were warned before that this year water levels will be low and as such power generation will be low as well,” he said
If we were really warned years before then shouldn’t the president be putting the minister under the hook for doing absolutely nothing than blaming lack of rain water and siltation when the nation is running in darkness?
What if it never rains, or as much as we need to improve, should we come back next year and blame the drought, even if it rains the minister said don’t blame for this glitch I did enough for the last winter farming season preparation, meaning we still are going into massive load shedding as winter farming is nigh again!
I would have accepted his resignation letter at this point and time, just to say!
Great talkers and no results!
Then the minister had nothing more than the political rhetoric of short term solutions to solve the problems we have always had since independence making it look so easy on the application, making us to wonder, So what the hell have they been doing all these years?
In his keynote address at the launch of the National Solar Water Heating Programme (SWHP), Cde Undenge revealed a number of projects that Government has embarked on to build hydro, thermal and solar power stations. The projects will see the country generating more than enough electricity in the foreseeable future.
Observers say the good thing is that while most of the projects look long term given the current pressing situation, a majority of them will be complete in two years at most. If all the projects are completed within their stipulated time, the country will be able to export electricity to other countries since there will be surplus after satisfying local demand.
These include the repowering of the Bulawayo thermal station where the Government of Zimbabwe has already secured a line of credit valued at $87 million from the Government of India. The re-powering work will add 60MW into the grid and will take 24 months to complete. The Harare re-powering project will cost $70,2 million with 85 percent of the cost promised by India’s Exim Bank.”
Minister Undenge said these are short-term plans that will provide long-term solutions.
“These quick-win projects that I have mentioned will add 340MW to the national grid,” he said. The other output will come from mega projects such as the expansion of Kariba South Hydro Power Station which is already underway and is expected to provide 150MW. Solar power stations are also expected to produce a combined output of 300MW while independent power producers (IPPs) are billed to contribute significantly.
Seriously if they have this simply calculated, why are we still stuck with this ZESA problem, the minister is talking smooth about the problem that we have heard for the past 25 years.
We have become the best crafters of policy on paper and should be forgiven to doubt the actual implementation of them thereof.
The Dumb and Dumber!
With all due respect, the perm secretary had the audacity to openly say we need to ban geysers so that we save 300mw of energy? Seriously.
We do not have an energy saving problem, but lack of creating one for ourselves with all the resources. Besides if we allow the banning of geysers what else should we allow to be banned, heaters microwaves, Laptops and Chinese phones.
Lets say we all agree to ban geysers imports, what is he going to do to the million households who have imported already and are continuously using them, knock door to door and remind them on the ban?
The geyser only consumes at estimate 2500w while heaters and fridges can draw much more power as well, suffice to say these are modern home devices not the heavy duty industrial machines.
Sabotage and lack of accountability!
The solar tender deal has been hitting our headlines while government has done absolutely nothing to come in and clear the murky mess for the best of the nation as the State Procurement Board Boss Mr Kuwaza has been seating on the tender papers to allow the 400MW project.
In the case of the SPB boss, the Speaker is studying the application and will soon make a determination.”
If found guilty of contempt of Parliament, the SPB boss faces a fine since the House cannot send him to jail owing to chances brought about by Section 148 of the Constitution, that fundamentally reduced the powers of Parliament.
Mr Kuwaza stands accused of failing to take business of the Legislature seriously after refusing to provide vital information requested by the House.
He caused a stir in Parliament on two occasions earlier this year when he refused to answer questions related to the tendering system for Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) projects.
In 2014, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa accused the SPB of awarding tenders to briefcase companies, resulting in the increase of the cost of doing business, describing the tendering system as the “capital city of corruption”.
Where is the natural gas?
Government has discovered gas reserves in the Lupane-Lubimbi basin estimated at over 23 billion cubic feet and would start exploitation this year, Mines and Mining Development minister, Walter Chidhakwa has said.
” A local paper was quoted!
The government granted the exploration of gas a National Project Status in 2007, but did not take action until this year.
“We formed a company over 10 years ago, as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to create critical mass technically and financially to drive this project, but what has happened? There have been squabbles before GNU (government of national unity), during GNU and up to now,” quoted another.
The Solar Farms.
Those of my age remember Peter Pamire, besides his untimely death, we remember him for fancy life-style appealing for millions of Zimdollars to drive world leaders in Mercedes and energetically running behind World Solar Summit in September 1996, 15 years down the line, its like he died with the vision!
Zimbabwe is blessed with abundance sunshine, this is enough energy to take us through even in winter season yet to date we are still to have our own solar farms, Nothing whatsoever is coming and forget the huge talk.
Huge talk and no action!
That’s why we are now sceptical even if we are told by the state broadcaster that it’s raining outside we would rather think it’s another Zimwa pipe gushing unattended!