THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has dealt a body blow to the government’s rhetoric promising a successful winter wheat crop this year, saying the power utility was unlikely to meet farmers’ requirements for the cropping season.
In a rare exchange between Zesa and the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Zesa’s corporate secretary, Pardon Chakanyuka, insisted the ministry had misled the nation when it announced “uninterruptible power supplies during the winter cropping season” on national television.
“The board is quite concerned about the announcement which was made without its knowledge or Zesa having been consulted to ascertain the facts on the ground,” Chakanyuka said in a letter.
“The board is worried that the announcement exposes the board as it’s generated a lot of expectations from Zesa’s stakeholders and in particular the farming community,” Chakanyuka said.
Chakanyuka’s letter was addressed to the ministry’s permanent secretary, Justin Mupamhanga, who is also a board member of Zesa.
In the letter, dated March 31, Chakanyuka noted that Zesa had in the past made commitments to the industry on the basis of the central bank’s pledge to provide US$3,5 million in August last year but this had not happened, leaving Zesa “in an invidious and embarrassing position of having to explain continued deterioration of supply availability and reliability to customers”, it said.
“It is against this background that the board resolved to direct the group company secretary to write this letter to you so as to put the record straight.”