Fungai Muderere, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) might spoil the Africa Cup of Nations for football lovers after it revealed that it can’t guarantee uninterrupted power supply during the tournament.
The Warriors open their Group A encounter against hosts Egypt on Friday night (10PM Zimbabwean time) at the Cairo International Stadium.
Zesa public relations manager, Fullard Gwasira said they can’t give assurances of keeping the lights on countrywide during the game.
After taking on the Pharoahs, the Warriors take on Uganda on 26 June at 7PM before rounding off their group stage matches against DR Congo four days later at 9PM.
“It’s really in our interest and we all want to watch the Warriors playing in Egypt. We are generating (power) relatively well at the moment, but because of age, our power stations are not reliable. While we will do our best to ensure the country will watch the football, I don’t think it’s possible to promise that Zesa will be able to provide (adequate) power,” said Gwasira in an interview with Zimpapers Television Network.
Zesa recently announced that it had implemented Stage 2 loadshedding, which entails 15-hour power cuts daily.
Gwasira said they are planning to speed up refurbishment of Hwange Power Station’s unit 3 to augment local power generation by 120MW, while negotiations with regional suppliers for additional power continue.
Only three of Hwange’s six units, producing between 268MW and 500 MW, are functional.
Output at Kariba Hydropower Station has reportedly plummeted to 355MW from a potential 1 050MW due to depressed water levels following low rainfall in the Zambezi River’s catchment area.
Neighbouring Zambia has also been affected by the low Kariba Dam levels and also introduced load shedding at the beginning of June.