The Zimbabwean government has paid US$10 million to South African power firm, Eskom so as to have more power imported from South Africa. Reports also suggest that the government is having a dialogue with Mozambican power firm for a similar arrangement.
Zimbabwe is currenlty facing a huge power deficit resulting from the shrinking water levels at Kariba dam and malfunctioning power generators at Hwange power station. Resultantly, power utility, ZESA has since introduced a crippling 17 hour load shedding.
Some ZESA officials who spoke to the Daily News revealed that the payment was a prerequisite for Eskom to reengage Zimbabwe. One insider said:
Yes it is true that Zesa paid US$10 million towards the debt to Eskom. Eskom wanted Zesa to pay something before they could re-engage Zimbabwe.
Zesa no longer disclose some of its transactions with other companies for fear of jeopardising future deals.
Government is reportedly planning to engage Mozambican officials over the same issues. Hydro Cahora Basa (HCB) which exports about 50MW is owed a substantial amount by Zimbabwe.
The demand for electricity in the country has risen from 1 500 megawatts (MW) to 1 700MW because of the current winter season. There is therefore a mismatch between the power Zimbabwe can generate and the required volumes of power. At the moment, Kariba is said to be generating a maximum of 358 megawatts instead of its full capacity of 1 050MW.
Meanwhile, Hwange which normally supplies 700MW is currently generating a maximum of 500MW because of archaic equipment.
More: Daily News