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Biographer claims he warned Mnangagwa about power crisis.

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Eddie Cross

In January, economist Eddie Cross and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s biographer advised him the power generation crisis would hurt Zimbabwe’s economy.

Later that day, Mnangagwa invited Cross back to his office, despite his economic concerns.

Four ministers from energy, business, agriculture, and finance were in the president’s office.

They were accompanied by the head of ZIDA, ZERA, and ZESA.

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The president relayed Cross’s message and enquired about the electricity problem.

“There was no plan. The president turned to Dr. [Sidney] Gata and asked, ‘What are you going to do?’” Cross said at a business conference in Harare on Thursday.

He added that Gata told the president ZESA was broke.

Zimbabwe’s power problem

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That’s the dilemma facing regional power firms.

“I have achieved more than Nelson Chamisa” : Stunner

South Africa’s Eskom owed US$24 billion, 280% more than Zambia’s US$8.4 billion, according to Debt Justice.

Cross blamed post-colonial regimes and inadequate planning for the power issue.

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“Southern Africa’s power dilemma has its roots in post-liberation history, when utilities were built with foresight and design.

“This was headed by South Africa’s power utility, which, like China in the past 50 years, transformed its massive coal reserves into a cheap supply of electrical energy. They installed enough power to satisfy their own markets and their neighbors’ deficits, he added.

Public-private partnership

Cross said the private sector “loaned money where the government couldn’t.”

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They moved there to suit the country’s power demands.

Zimbabwean private sector firms offered to develop the Cahora Bassa Dam’s northern bank this year, producing 1200 megawatts of energy.

Mozambicans are examining the suggestion, said Cross.

Private sector plans solar project in Kariba.

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Low dam levels stop hydroelectricity in Zimbabwe

Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change claimed he will encourage clean energy if elected.

“We will undertake sustainable energy development based on scientific and engineering studies,” he said. His government would generate R5.1 billion for infrastructure upgrades.

42% of the country has access to electricity, but only 13% in rural areas.

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Zimbabwe needs 2,300MW/day but was producing 1,100MW.

With the current problem, it’s producing 500MW, prompting power shortages with homes only getting five hours a day, usually late at night or early in the morning.

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