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Govt to blame for power crisis

Government’s lack of commitment and capacity to address the power crisis in Zimbabwe is a serious cause for concern.

Kurauone Chihwayi MDC national spokesperson.

The MDC finds it unacceptable that despite receiving clear warnings of the lowering water levels at Kariba, Zesa did nothing to plan ahead. As a result of Zesa’s incompetence and calamitous lack of planning under the watch of an equally incompetent and incapable Zanu PF government, Zimbabweans have to endure unprecedented power cuts until 2017, plunging us right back into the Stone Age.

Given the warnings by the Zambezi River Authority in January, Zesa should have moved with haste to ensure well thought-out strategies so that there would be enough power to fall back on during these dire times. Energy minister Samuel Undenge’s recent announcement of stop-gap measures involving reduction of power supply to mining companies and other huge electricity consumers and introducing load-shedding in central business districts and uniformed forces, shows the astounding lack of foresight and planning by government.

Amidst all this, President Robert Mugabe tries to absolve his incompetent government of all blame claiming that the energy crisis is nobody’s fault. As Mugabe very well knows, the incompetence, lack of foresight and planning, corruption and disrespect for accountability, is the reason we are in this crisis. Such comments from the President and his government demonstrate how far detached they are from reality and do not take the problems of the ordinary people to heart.

The MDC warned that this corrupt and incompetent government does not have a plan to resolve, not just the power crisis, but all other challenges facing the country. A corrupt and clueless government and an out of touch President adds up to a failed nation.

So far, none of government’s initiatives on energy security since Independence have yielded any meaningful results. As MDC, we are well aware that energy is strategic to the country’s economic well–being, thus policies should be created that facilitate competition and investment in energy so that the country benefits from diversity. An MDC government will have a workable vision that resolves the energy situation and get Zimbabwe powered up again. We will, among other measures, ensure that maximum benefit is reaped from previously underutilised renewable energy sources such as solar power and natural gas and other energy sources by promoting and enabling investments in power generation.

In this vein, an MDC government will ensure solar power equipment is made duty-free for a stipulated period. We would ensure increased electricity capacity at Zesa by depoliticising it and dealing firmly and decisively with corruption in the institution.

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