fed_up_with_zesaFor optimists, Zimbabwe is ready for economic take-off while for the pessimists, the country is on its knees. Remember the old story about the half full or half empty glass of water?

\n

There are so many positives taking place in the country on the economic front despite the much-talked about liquidity crunch and for the positive-minded, its now a matter of time before take off.

\n

Elsewhere in this publication, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Cde Patrick Chinamasa is sounding bullish about the prospects of reviving the economy.

\n

However, there seems to be a long-standing, nagging problem — Zesa. There is just no Zesa at Zesa. One starts suspecting sabotage, but of course Zesa has its numerous explanations with the recent talk being about the low water levels in Kariba Dam.

\n

While Zesa, just like anyone else can find a million explanations to the “darkness,” Zimbabweans are suffering and honestly its no longer funny. Residents are going for 17 hours with no electricity as Zesa has normalised the abnormal.

\n

For Zesa, the solution is simple — they just switch of switches and pump out adverts explaining their move. Zimbabweans are an understanding lot. They should easily understand the inefficiency.

\n

The past few weeks have been torture and Zesa is not giving any hope. The residents just have to endure the darkness. Industry has been hit hard and farmers have lost their voices calling on the power utility to spare them from the black outs that are affecting production.

\n

Seeing that Zesa was ignoring the farmers, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made last week added his voice.

\n

“I appeal on behalf of farmers to Zesa Holdings, to save some crops that were about to mature. If possible, the farmers should be spared and allow the crop to mature and be harvested. Otherwise the efforts that have been put in place by all stakeholders including bankers who supported with funding will be put to waste,” said Dr Made.

\n

Surely, was there any need for Dr Made to state the obvious?

\n

Government has set a crop target of 1,5 million hectares of maize and 750 000 hectares of small grains as preparations for the 2015-16 summer cropping season go a gear up, but with Zesa opting for the easy solution of switching of switches, this target won’t be met.

\n

The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe is finally playing ball, coming up with facilities that include lowering interest rates to support agriculture, but Zesa is failing to come to the party.

\n

Reports say the country is producing 1 100 megawatts (MW) against a demand of 2 200 MW. Zesa explains it all saying this is because of the low water levels in Kariba Dam, obsolete machinery and limited investment in the energy sector.

\n

However, energy experts say Zesa should take the blame. Engineer Francis Masawi told our Extra Reporter that: “The problem within Zesa is that there is no efficient energy use, there is no efficiency in the retraction of coal, there is no efficiency during conversion of coal into electricity, there is no efficiency in the distribution of electricity and there is no efficiency in the way in which electricity is being consumed.

\n

“There are a lot of leakages and Zesa is losing a lot of electricity unnecessarily.”

\n

As the country looks for long-term solutions to the energy challenges, Zesa should find ways to stop the leakages.

\n

Before resorting to solar and gas to generate electricity, the engineers at Zesa have to do what they are paid to do.

\n

It is with the “Zesa darkness” in mind that we hope Parliament will speedily pass the Public Sector Governance Bill that will see the Office of the President and Cabinet monitoring board members and senior executives at parastatals and State enterprises to ensure good corporate governance. Once this bill is passed, the Office of the President and Cabinet should make Zesa its first priority because Zimbabweans are fed up with whatever is going on there.

\n

We were told that the pre-paid electricity meters would easy the power cuts, but the opposite is happening as Zesa continues to shift the blame. Yes, residents have to device means to save electricity and yes, Zesa needs funding to meet the ever-increasing national demand, but it’s becoming very obvious now that there is something stinking happening at Zesa.

\n

Maybe that explains why Zesa is known for its good advertising and public relations instead of being known for lighting up the country.

\n