Zanu-PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa has blamed the late former President Robert Mugabe for the country’s electricity crisis, which has plunged the country into 22-hour daily load-shedding schedules.
Speaking on Sunday during a South African television broadcaster, eNCA interview, Mutsvangwa said Mugabe’s misrule caused the electricity crisis.
“The power crisis, which the country is facing currently is a product of years of neglect within Zimbabwe in particular. The mismanagement, the harm caused by economic mismanagement of the last two decades of (the late former President Robert) Mugabe and his G40s (Zanu-PF party faction) obviously has a negative pull. It is retarding the speed of recovery, but you cannot doubt that there is recovery which is going on,” Mutsvangwa said.
In response, former Foreign Affais and Tourism minister during Mugabe’s government, Walter Mzembi, tweeted describing Mutsvangwa’s utterances as “romantic and irresponsible propaganda”.
“Were you sent by Mugabe to buy 5KVa solar generators pegged at US$14 500 instead of US$3 500? Did Mugabe send you to allocate each one among you housing loans amounting to US$500 000?” Mzembi tweeted.
In the wake of the rolling power outages there are reports that at least 100 government officials, including service chiefs will get free solar panels to cushion them from the power cuts.
Zimbabwe requires over 2 000 megawatts (MW) and is currently producing only 650MW with experts urging the government to prioritise other sources of renewable energy.
Meanwhile, businesses are piling pressure on government to scrap duty on electricity-generating appliances and solar products to ease the country’s electricity challenges.
“Electricity shortages are slowing down economic development, and we implore government to remove the importation of generators and solar products,” Confederations of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu said during a recent virtual post-budget discussion.
In response, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said: “Importing power means supporting IPPs (Independent Power Producers) of other countries. Some countries have increased their IPPs, but we are not supporting our own IPPs. That should not be the case, we have to change. I agree that we have to act urgently.”