Africa Moyo, Harare Bureau
Zimbabwe has obtained an additional 100MW of electricity from Mozambique, effective October 1, 2019, as Government continues to address power shortages that have resulted in long hours of load shedding.
Energy and Power Development Minister Advocate Fortune Chasi, who was in Maputo last week where he met that country’s Energy Minister Ernesto Max Tonela, confirmed the development on his twitter handle yesterday.
“I was in Maputo last week where I met the Energy minister. I got 100MW,” said Minister Chasi.
Minister Chasi was not picking his mobile phone when contacted to give more details on the deal.
However, reliable sources at ZESA Holdings confirmed the arrangement.
“Yes it is true that Zimbabwe has signed an agreement with its neighbour Mozambique. We will start getting the 100MW from October 1, and it is our hope that the deal will go a long way in improving the power situation in the country,” said the source on condition of anonymity.
“You see, as far as we are concerned, every megawatt that we get is an improvement, but our challenge at the moment is that once we get additional power, some power plants break down leaving us in the same situation as we were before the additional power.
“However, as a power utility we are working tirelessly to ensure the power situation improves.”
Mozambique’s power utility, Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) is presently exporting 50W to Zimbabwe and the new deal will take the total to 150MW.
The anticipated increase in power imports from Maputo is a culmination of engagements initiated by President Mnangagwa when he met his Mozambican counterpart, President Filipe Nyusi on the sidelines of the 12th edition of the US-Africa Business Summit in June.
South Africa, which used to give Zimbabwe up to 300MW, is now providing electricity depending on what Harare has paid for.
Zimbabwe owes South Africa’s Eskom and HCB about US$74 million.
Yesterday, Zimbabwe was generating 634MW at its plants; Hwange (470MW), Kariba (173MW), and nothing from Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo thermal power stations.
Meanwhile, Minister Chasi said he has received over 450 CVs from people wanting to be considered for boards for departments under his ministry.
“A whooping 450 something CVs received. Sorting them out ends today (yesterday). Meantime, I have appointed an interim board for ZESA chaired by Prof (Ashok) Chakravarti, a renowned economist,” he said.
Minister Chasi fired the entire ZESA board on July 6 on allegations of failing to “appreciate the urgency of the situation we are in”.