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Zimbabwe judge declares Nelson Chamisa
'illegitimate leader' of opposition M.D.C.

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s High Court ruled Wednesday that Nelson Chamisa is an illegitimate leader of the opposition MDC, declaring his appointment as party vice-president and subsequently president as null and void.

This follows an application by the party’s Gokwe district organizing secretary Elias Mashavire challenging the decision by the late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai to unilaterally appoint Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri to the positions of co-vice presidents of the party in 2016.

The two joined the party’s first vice-president Thokozani Khupe, leaving the party with three deputies.

Upon former president Tsvangirai’s death last year, Chamisa assumed presidency of the MDC after elbowing out Khupe and Mudzuri from the succession race.

The High Court judge Edith Mushore ordered the MDC to hold an extraordinary congress to choose new party leader within a month.

The judge also said all the appointments made by Chamisa were null and void.

The party was due to hold an ordinary congress at the end of this month, with Chamisa having already been endorsed as the party’s presidential candidate by all the party’s 13 provinces.

Chamisa contested and lost in the presidential elections held in 2018 but he garnered the second most votes at 44.3 percent against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 50.8 percent.


Zimbabwe power utility warns customers of 'load shedding'

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Power utility Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company on Thursday warned users that it may be forced to re-introduce load shedding in the near future if demand continues to outstrip supplies following the curtailment of power generation at its Kariba South Hydro Power Station.

Zimbabwe has enjoyed more than four years without load shedding, but the drought of 2018/19 has pushed the Zambezi River Authority to reduce water allocation to the Zimbabwe Power Company from 19 billion cubic meters to 16 billion cubic meters for 2019. The rationing is meant to ensure that the plant continues to run until the next rainy season.

To this end, electricity generation at Kariba Power Station will thus be reduced to an average of 358 MW from the planned average of 542MW as a direct result of this water allocation reduction and this has led to a power supply gap, said the power utility in a statement.

The water supply situation, and thus generation at Kariba, will be reviewed as the year progresses, it added.

ZETDC urged customers to switch off all non-essential load to maintain a balance between the supply of power and demand so that stability of the grid is ensured during morning and evening peak periods.

"Large power users are also requested to reduce their power demand during the morning and evening peak periods of 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. respectively."

"In the event that this supply and demand equilibrium is not maintained, the power utility would have no choice but to curtail some loads to restore grid stability," the utility said.

Power generation at Hwange Thermal Power Station and the smaller thermal power stations of Harare, Bulawayo and Munyati remain fragile because of old age.

Chinese company Sino Hydro is currently refurbishing Hwange Thermal Power Station at a cost of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to add two generators each producing 300 MW.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa commissioned the project last June, with work expected to be completed in 42 months.

The power station currently has an installed capacity of 920 MW but cannot generate at optimum level because of the ageing equipment.

Long fuel queues resurface in Zimbabwe as foreign currency shortage persists

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Long queues of motorists looking for fuel have resurfaced in Harare as petrol and diesel shortages persist amid rising demand as schools re-opened for the second term.

Diesel appears to be the more affected commodity which continues to be sold at a premium on the black market.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya told the state-controlled Herald newspaper that the central bank had availed adequate Letters of Credit (L Cs) into the market to ensure availability of critical imports such as fuel.

"We have made sure that L Cs will be available to fuel providers and that they will be able to use them to access fuel going forward," Mangudya said.

The paper said Wednesday that L Cs helped reduce the payment risks on international trade transactions with a buyer’s bank guaranteeing payment to a seller if certain criteria are met.

Fuel is one of the biggest consumers of foreign currency in Zimbabwe.

The country has been facing foreign currency shortages for several years because of limited productivity for the export market and imports much more than it is exporting.


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