Electricity woes persist

zesaHARARE - Electricity woes precipitated by maintenance works on power transformers in Kariba are persisting - despite the fact that the process is over.

Consumers in the country are faced with protracted power outages and the silence on the part of ZESA has raised the ire of many who feel that the monopolistic power utility is short-changing them. We thought that the load shedding would be over by now, but there is no end in sight. We are having a difficult time because ZESA is cutting off electricity without warning us, said Ronald Mangwiro.

According to ZESA its periodic maintenance of the massive Kariba Hydro Electricity power station was supposed to have ended on the 14th of May and this would have resulted in increased power supplies. The Kariba maintenance does not mean a change in the provision of electricity, even though we are back to the pre-maintenance electricity levels we still do not have adequate supplies, said ZESA spokesperson Fullard Gwasira.

However, consumers have been complaining that the load shedding that is lasting for as long as 12 hours is not the same as it was before the maintenance works in Kariba. The load shedding is too much in Chitungwiza. When we leave home there is no electricity and when we get back home still there wont be power, yet ZESA wants us to continue paying them for services that are rarely available, said a consumer from Chitungwiza.

Winter is always a challenge for ZESA as demand peaks. So this is one of the causes of the load shedding, said Gwasira.

Overwhelmed by demand, ZESA has been asking people to use power saving techniques and also blames consumers for failing to pay for the electricity in order to ensure its provision. Most of the equipment at both Kariba and Hwange thermal power stations is obsolete while the government does not have the cash to import power.

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