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Load Shedding Is Back With A Vengeance: ZESA Has Not Released A Schedule

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Inverter ZESA alternative

A lot of people at the TechZim office have been complaining about power outages and I think I have noticed a trend. There seems to be systematic power losses in most of Harare’s suburbs. In fact like clockwork, power goes out around 7:30-8:00 in my suburb and comes back around 15:00.

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Others at the office have had similar experiences although the timetables differ from suburb to suburb. The nature of these power outages can only mean one thing: Load shedding is back. What sucks is that ZESA did not give any forewarning about this but again ZESA seems to have given up on communicating a long time ago. Consider what happened towards the end of 2018 for example.

Left in the dark

On the last Friday of 2018, I was in Beitbridge frantically searching for transport to bring me back to Harare. My phone was almost out of battery so I decided to look for one of those charging places. The guy behind the counter had plugged it for like two minutes before power went out. Without a word he quickly switched to solar power. The two of us did not think much of it.

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I finally boarded an overpriced kombi later that evening and I noticed that all the southern towns and growth points we passed were in darkness. Again none of us, passengers, thought much of it. Days later it became clear that there was a massive outage caused by collapsed pylons and several faults resulting in much of southern Zimbabwe being left in darkness.

The weird thing is that although ZESA knew about this major fault they did not communicate this to the public. A lot of people spent new year in darkness without knowing why. Even stranger still is the fact that the ultimate ZESA guy, the Minister of Energy and something-something, Honourable Joram Gumbo was also in the dark about this.

In fact most people probably were not bothered by the incident as they have come to expect nothing but incompetency, shoddy service and silence from ZESA.

ZESA needs to do better

During the above incident I learnt something about ZESA as an organisation: they actually have a spokesperson! Who knew? We all know the Zimbabwean government is struggling to meet the country’s energy needs due to forex shortages so load shedding would not be surprising. It is sort of expected.

The thing though is that ZESA needs to communicate these things and release schedules. I remember at one time people in my neighbourhood spent days without reporting a fault because they thought this was some sort of sick load shedding joke- ZESA does that sometimes. Turns out the transformer which was located in a bush was gone and had been gone for days.

The other thing is that some suburbs especially middle and low income areas seem to bear the brunt of load shedding. People in areas such as Kuwadzana, it would seem, are almost always in the dark while high income areas where Big Chefs live are spared. The same big chefs who don’t pay their bills.

A schedule will allow us to plan and make sure that load shedding is being equitably applied.

Time to consider solar

Eons I go I wrote a guide on solar power. It is still very relevant especially for some of us who prefer to work from home a lot and whose jobs are dependant on the availability of power. A budget solar system will power most essential home appliances such as TVs, laptops, routers and TV boxes.

ZesaBeitbridgeJoram Gumbo

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings is the country's biggest power producer and regulating company. It operates under the Ministry and Energy and Power Development and it runs a number of subsidiary companies with various specialities in power regulation and communications. Read More About Zesa

Beitbridge is a Town located in Matabeleland South Province in Zimbabwe. Read More About Beitbridge

Joram Macdonald Gumbo is a Zimbabwean politician who is a member of the ZANU-PF party. Gumbo is the Minister of Energy and Power Development. He is the Member of parliament for Mberengwa West Constituency. Gumbo was re-elected in the 2018 harmonized election after getting 10... Read More About Joram Gumbo


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6 thoughts on “Load Shedding Is Back With A Vengeance: ZESA Has Not Released A Schedule

  1. ZESA does not produce and regulate power, it produces, delivers and supplies power to consumers for a charge. ZERA does the regulating of licensed companies in the energy sector who supply energy services to users. Just though the people should know?

    1. ZESA actually produces power. ZPC is a subdiary of ZESA. ZEDTC is in charge of distribution and charging customers. ZERA are just like BAZ.

  2. The reason for the power black outs is the Chinese plant at Kariba! Sino Hydro did the same mess in Botswana until they were kicked out. Now the Zimbabwean government is afraid to be embarrassed about this Sino Hydro company

  3. “During the above incident I learnt something about ZESA as an organisation: they actually have a spokesperson! Who knew?”

    Actually, any well informed Zimbo who reads news knows that!

    You have NO BUSINESS writing any blog or news website if you did not know such basic information. Fullard Gwasira has been ZESA spokesman for YEARS. Google his name and see how many times his name comes up from any number of different media sources (one of which is actually an old TECHZIM article). Do you live under a rock or something – are you really that out of touch with what goes on in Zimbabwe? Very disappointing from a “veteran writer” – it’s no wonder you are just stagnating there. WAKE UP! No wonder Techzim is going down the toilet – you guys SERIOUSLY need to pull up your socks!

  4. This article lacks factual information, maybe you should visit ZESA or their subsidiary ZETDC to understand the difference between planned and unplanned outages. Also to get informed on the bad condition of ZETDC infrastructure b4 you write nonsense on power outages, of which some you are ignorantly calling load shedding. The fallen pylons issue at least you have something there but on not informing the general populace I doubt if that didn’t happen. We all know ZESA, infact ZETDC is incompetent in its service delivery but please next time don’t write articles based on hearsay or rumours.

  5. There has been more outages recently, in my case these are faults. ZESA answer their hotline but you have to be patient and a satisfactory explanation was given to me. However, when power outage follows a regular pattern, it is not surprising that one might consider this to be some load shedding of sorts. Garikai, it’s not too late to contact ZESA and get the full story….

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