PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa was left with egg on his face
after an abrupt power outage interrupted his speech during the ground-breaking
ceremony of the Cyber City in Mt Hampden on Wednesday.
Mnangagwa, who was in the company of Vice-President
Constantino Chiwenga and billionaire investor Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk, chairman of
Mulk International, had to wait for three minutes as officials made frantic
efforts to restore power.
Sensing the humiliation, a group aligned to the President
calling itself MenBelievED broke into song to save the situation.
Mnangagwa could not hide his disappointment with the power
utility Zesa Holdings for the power outage in the presence of visitors.
“This is very humiliating. The guys at Zesa do not know the
time to do their power cuts. They cannot have their load shedding when we have
guests like this,” he said.
The majority of Zimbabweans experience incessant power cuts
on a daily basis.
Wheat farmers are also currently complaining that the power
cuts are seriously affecting farm operations at a time when thecountry is
aiming for a bumper winter wheat harvest.
On Tuesday, Energy and Power Development minister Zhemu
Soda warned that the country might endure rolling power cuts beyond August due
to depressed generation capacity.
Power utility Zesa last week issued a notice warning of
prolonged power outages.
But Soda said government was making frantic efforts to ease
the power cuts through imports and rehabilitation of the Hwange Thermal Power
Zimbabwe requires 2 000 megawatts (MW) of electricity
monthly to meet power demand.
Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa currently sells 50MW of
power to Zimbabwe, while South Africa also supplies it with 400MW of power,
still inadequate to close the supply gap.
The Kariba Dam, which has provided the country with the
bulk of hydro power, has over the past few years experienced falling water
levels, subsequently causing a drop in supply of electricity.
Hwange, which has also over the years contributed to the
power requirements, is currently struggling due to obsolete equipment. Newsday