HomeLettersEnergy crisis – Zim must go nuclear

Energy crisis – Zim must go nuclear

FOLLOWING your rapid response Mr Prime Minister, to my plea on the Zimsec crisis, for which I am very grateful, I feel obliged to once again draw your attention to another national crisis –– the acute shortage of power in Zimbabwe.

I sincerely believe that instead of spending a lot of time fighting over who should eat the liver, there are more important national issues that can unite Zimbabweans, such as finding a permanent solution to the national energy crisis.
Zimbabwe is at the threshold of moving away from the cluster of the third world countries. But the acute shortage of energy in the form of electricity and gas is tethering this golden country back to the third world.
Given good  governance, which is the soul of democracy, and good and just laws, which are the lubricants to the machinery of democracy, there is no reason whatsoever for Zimbabwe to remain in the shackles of the third world.
Our current beg-thy-neighbour policies on energy cannot take us far enough to enable us to hit the ground running as we attempt to approach our take-off to self-sustained socio-economic growth.
Our economic infrastructure and industrial base require much more energy than we are able to import from the DRC, South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia.
What is crucial to make Zimbabwe tick is for our motherland to be self-sufficient in its energy needs. Can we achieve that? Yes, we can.
We have to be cognisant of the fact that additional power generation by constructing a hydro-electric project at Batoka Gorge is not the solution. The Hwange thermal plant is not the solution. Windmills for power generation are not the solution either. Solar power panels are not the solution by themselves. All these could just be supplementary energy sources.
Our solution lies in Zimbabwe going nuclear in most of its power needs. All Zimbabwe needs is the political will to do so. Inter-party skirmishes about small nothings are delaying Zimbabwe’s socio-economic growth.
A ray of hope is that Zimbabwe has its own uranium find. So in the long term, Zimbabwe may not need to import uranium after all.
Another source of energy, gas this time, is arguably southern Africa’s largest sewer treatment plant at Glen View, in Harare. Literally tonnes of methane and ethane gases escape into the air every hour. That sewer plant, if harnessed for these gases, can save millions per year in the country’s energy bill.
Maybe your government could ask for technical assistance from British Gas of the “Energy is our business fame”. A gas plant at the Glen View sewer works can make all the difference to the supply and demand market forces and possibly lower the price of gas.
I agree with Tendai Biti, the Finance minister, that Zimbabwe is a sleeping giant. But a sleeping giant without energy suffers from debility and incapacitation and cannot wake up.
Like I said before, there are more issues that can unite Zimbabweans than those that can divide them. It is unfortunate that your government has too many bedroom issues.
I wish you, Prime Minister sir, and your government, a happy and progressive New Year, in which all members of your cabinet and all MPs will put Zimbabwe first and foremost in their heart of hearts.

Cuthbert Kachale,

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