HARARE – The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Advocate Fortune Chasi says there is need to invest heavily in energy and power generation for the energy challenges facing the country to be a thing of the past.
Minister Chasi was speaking in an exclusive interview with the State media.
Six months after his appointment as Energy and Power Development Minister, Advocate Chasi told the State media that he knew the job would not be a stroll in the park, but is prepared to work with stakeholders to bring an end to the existing power challenges.
“I think the task ahead was obviously difficult but I was prepared for the task. What is critical is to understand that we have to work together to accomplish the task facing us of bringing back light to our homes and power the industry,” he said.
He also mentioned that the debt overhung on the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is frustrating efforts to generate sufficient power.
“ ZESA is owed over $1,6 billion, hence it is technically insolvent. We call upon all debtors to be responsible by repaying so that the power utility can be back on its feet,” said Minister Chasi.
Advocate Chasi was forthright in saying government cannot give a timeline in terms of when the load shedding will come to an end.
“The power cuts will persist as long as we can’t generate enough power and in the short term we will focus on complementing local generation with imports,” he said.
“Massive investment in energy and power development required before the country can eradicate its power challenges,” he added
This power challenges have been exacerbated by the fact that Hwange Power Station has obsolete equipment while climate uncertainties have cast doubt on Kariba Power Station to return to full generation capacity hence the need to invest in renewable energy sources.