Editorial Comment: Behold the blame game is upon us

They say “blame is the vehicle we use to park our guilt on someone else’s driveway” and it looks like the season of blame games is upon us.  Let’s not expect the current electricity problems to be sorted anytime soon because, while is it “better to light one small candle” those with the responsibility to sort the issue are now busy “cursing the darkness.”
\nJust when Zimbabweans were thinking that the Ministry of Power and Energy Development is fixing the electricity problems, the permanent secretary in the ministry, Mr Patson Mbiriri has given the following shocking statement.

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“Don’t expect anything dramatic regarding the electricity situation at the moment. We are hoping the rains will come this season,” said Mr Mbiriri.

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Honestly what is this? A whole ministry waiting for the rains? Hoping for the rains? No. Zimbabweans deserve better. What if the rains don’t come?

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Indeed, we, the ever understanding people of Zimbabwe, don’t expect anything dramatic regarding the electricity situation at the moment, but we expect something dramatic to happen at the ministry and at Zesa.

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But wait a minute? Mr Mbiriri is not only hoping for the rains. He is parking his vehicle in someone else’s driveway. He thinks, as we report elsewhere in this paper, that the blame should be put at the doorstep of the State Procurement Board (SPB).

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Mr Mbiriri says if only the SPB had played its part in the establishment of alternative energy stations, the country would not be facing the current electricity shortages.

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For reasons best known to him, the boss at the SPB, Mr Charles Kuwaza decided to take his time in responding to questions from this paper. We hope he will soon respond because the allegations against SPB are very serious considering the 16-hour blackouts across the country.

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However, for now, we centre on the comments by Mr Mbiriri. His comments don’t inspire any confidence and can only lead to despair among the people.

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How can a whole ministry pin it’s hopes on the rains that it doesn’t have control over? May be Mr Mbiriri is just being plain honest and we just don’t want to accept the painful truth, but then when will the rains come? When?

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Both the ministry and Zesa keep telling the country that the electricity shortages are because of low water levels at Kariba Power Station, generation constraints at Hwange Power Station and limited imports. How come no one at the ministry and at Zesa saw all this coming? If they did, how come the country wasn’t warned? Surely, someone somewhere didn’t do their job.

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After failing to see the impending shortfalls, now we all have to look high up the sky hoping for the rains? And those responsible at the ministry and at Zesa want us to take them serious?

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As if that is not disappointing enough, Mr Mbiriri says the SPB is to blame. Blame is a lazy man’s wages and honestly, its difficult to buy this SPB story.

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“Our situation would have been much better had we been able to authorise the solar projects much earlier. . .
\n“Tender for the three solar projects to be installed at Munyati, Gwanda and Plumtree has been going on for two years now . . .

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“Procurement should not take this long even for complex projects. Hopefully, going forward we will be more decisive when it comes to projects of this nature,” said Mr Mbiriri.

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Why is Mr Mbiriri speaking about this now? Why is he speaking when its too late and when the country is already experiencing the blackouts? Wasn’t it better to lift the red flags way back when better solutions could have been sought?

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The blame games won’t light up people’s home. The blame games won’t solve the electricity shortages and the blame games won’t take us anywhere. It’s very easy to point fingers at others, but to do better may be difficult.

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Zimbabweans expect Mr Mbiriri to come out with real solutions to the power shortages. He should stop parking his vehicle of blame in the SPB driveway.

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On the other hand, now that the blame game season is with us, Mr Kuwaza has no option but to come out in the open and explain why Mr Mbiriri is parking his vehicle in his driveway.

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Of course, its the season and Zimbabweans expect answers, but what they really want is electricity.
\nMeantime, let’s pray for the rains for that’s the only way the electricity shortages will be sorted.
\nNever thought, a whole ministry could give such a hopeless solution. But let’s pray for the rains.