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Tinashe Mutarisi tells Nash Paints workers go home due to electricity shortages {Watch}

Paint manufacturing and distribution giant, Nash Paints owner Tinashe Mutarisi was forced to ask his workers to go home on managed leave as the company was experiencing electricity shortages for a week.

This development has crippled business at the company.

A video, widely circulated on social media, paints a gloomy picture as Tinashe Mutarisi explains that the company is losing revenue and this subsequently affects employees’ incomes.

Mutarisi tells the gathered workers to go home and await instruction from their supervisors.

He also points out how a fire ravaged the factory in May this year, destroying property and assets worth around US$1,3 million.

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Fire Destroys Nash Paints Factory

Nash Paints, had its factory gutted by fire in May, with the owners saying they lost almost US$1,3 million worth of raw materials and plant equipment.

Nash Paints executive chairman Mr Tinashe Mutarisi said the inferno that took down a major part of the plant, occurred around 3am and there was no one at the factory.

 He said investigations were in progress to determine the cause of the fire.

“Safeguard personnel called us from their offices after fire alarms at the plant went off,” said Mr Mutarisi. “We then had to call the fire brigade which responded in record time and managed to extinguish the fire.”

Mr Mutarisi, who was visibly shaken by the incident, thanked the fire brigade for saving the other part of the factory, saying losses could have been worse. 

“The losses could have been worse had we not received timely response from the fire brigade,” he said. 

“I really want to thank them for putting the fire under control and saving us from what could have been a crippling loss. 

“We lost over US$1,1 million in raw materials and equipment and a US$200 00 section of the US$3 million plant. It’s a big loss to us, but again it could have been worse had we not responded in time. It’s sad that this loss comes after we commissioned a US$1 million addition to the existing plant last year.” 

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Government Warned Of Painful Loadshedding

Zimbabweans have been warned to prepare for crippling power cuts in the coming few months as the El Nino weather phenomenon is expected to negatively impact rainfall patterns resulting in reduced water inflows at Lake Kariba, the site of the country’s most reliable power plant.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Gloria Magombo, told the Economic Policy Dialogue breakfast Indaba held by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) recently that the business sector will bear the brunt of the load shedding. She said:

We will have a feel of these challenges [deepening power crisis] and I want to just also forewarn you given that we are expecting an El Nino, which will have an effect on Kariba water levels.

Business Times reported that Zimbabwe’s rivers contribute about 20% of the inflows into Lake Kariba.

Munyati River feeds the Sanyati River, which then supplies water to the lake. The other source is the Gwayi River.

However,  the rivers are hardly flowing due to a poor 2022/23 rainy season across Zimbabwe.

Magombo said the country is not expecting Gwayi and Sanyati to significantly contribute to inflows in the Kariba Dam due to El Nino. She said:

With the El Nino phenomenon predicted, we are not expecting much from these two rivers (Gwayi and Sanyati) hence more power curtailment in the country is expected.

We are hoping and praying that inflows from Zambia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo into the lake will come in March or May when Barotse plains (or wetlands) will start releasing water into Kariba.

But from now we will certainly experience these power curtailments.

On 20 October 2023, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) was generating 444MW from Kariba and 979MW from Hwange. Independennt Power Producers (IPPs) were generating 39MW.

That means if, or when Kariba Power Station completely shuts down due to low water levels in the dam, the country will depend solely on Hwange, IPPs and imports.

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