Zimbabwe blackouts ‘worst since 2016’

By Shingai Nyoka

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing its worst blackouts since 2016.

On Monday, the state-owned power company, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), announced that it would implement rolling blackouts of between five to eight hours. Mines will also be hit by the power cuts.

The authorities blame the blackouts on reduced output at the hydro-electric plant, mainly the result of a drought which has lowered water levels at the dam.

As some neighbourhoods are reporting even longer hours without power, the government has pledged to import more power from neighbouring Mozambique and South Africa.

Before 2016, incessant power cuts had been a top gripe in conversations on social media and at home.

Until now, with only sporadic cuts mainly due to faults, many Zimbabweans had looked in sympathy at their South African neighbours who had been experiencing rolling blackouts.

Meanwhile President Emmerson Mnangagwa has replaced the minister of energy and power development McDonald Joram Gumbo with his former deputy at legal and parliamentary affairs during President Mugabe’s rule Fortune Chasi who has been deputy in the transport ministry.

Mnangagwa has also retired the chairperson of the power utility organisation Jemias Madzingira replacing him with Engineer Mackenzie Ncube.