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Zimbabwe wheat farmers will not be spared lengthy power cuts

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean wheat farmers will not be spared power cuts as the nation suffers its worst power crisis in three years, energy minister Fortune Chasi said Thursday.

He told a parliamentary committee on energy that the farmers would get power for four days in a week, as the nation rolls out a biting load shedding schedule that is leaving people without power for up to 10 hours per day.

He said while government will try its best to prioritize farmers, it would be forced to cut power to them if the power situation is dire.

Zimbabwe is currently generating 1,100 megawatts of electricity, against demand of 1,500 MW.

The minister also urged state hospitals to invest in solar energy to reduce demand for power.

The country is facing severe power shortages due to low generation at Kariba power plant due to low dam water levels.

A shortage of foreign currency to pay debts and for power has also curtailed the country’s power imports from the region.


Zimbabwe earns U.S. 268 million U.S. dollars from tobacco sales

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe has so far earned 267.9 million U.S. dollars from the sale of at least 146 million kilograms of tobacco since the 2019 marketing season began seven weeks ago, according to figures from the industry regulator.

In a trading update on Tuesday, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board said the sales had declined by 14.7 percent from the same period last year while proceeds also dropped by 46 percent.

The update said that tobacco output, one of the country’s major foreign currency earners, is expected to decline by as much as 15 percent owing to poor weather conditions under which the crop was grown.

Last year, the country produced an all-time high of 252 million kg of tobacco.

Zimbabwe this year experienced drought conditions that were characterized by late rains and prolonged dry spells.

This year, the number of registered growers has increased by 27 percent to 183, 154, with more than 44, 000 being first time growers.


Zimbabwe major power plant may stop generation
as water levels fast decline: energy minister

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s main power plant could stop power generation in 14 weeks if water levels in Kariba Dam continue to decline at the current rate, energy minister Fortune Chasi said Thursday.

The situation would further worsen power shortages in the country that has already begun implementing power cuts.

Chasi told a parliamentary portfolio committee on energy that the fast deterioration of water levels in Kariba Dam, which is linked to global warming, had serious ramifications on the country’s future power supplies.

He said the country was currently generating 1,100 megawatts of electricity against demand of 1,500 MW, which could go up to 1,700 MW at peak.

"There is no guarantee that there will be water, what we are seeing is a southward movement in water levels at Kariba.

"If the trend goes like that, maybe after 14 weeks Kariba will not generate any megawatts," Chasi said.

"So we need to plan so that we are not entirely dependent on water for power generation."

Kariba Hydro Power Station has a capacity of 1,050 MW but has been producing at around 350 MW due to low water levels in the dam.

Power generation at the 950 MW Hwange Thermal Power Station has been severely curtailed due to old age.

However, the power plant is undergoing another expansion work which will add 600 MW, with the first 300MW unit expected to come on stream by December 2021 and the second one in the first quarter of 2022.

The minister said Zimbabwe owed power utilities of South Africa and Mozambique a total of 70 million U.S. dollars while the Zimbabwe power utility, ZESA, was owed 1.2 billion dollars by consumers.

The 1.2 billion dollars needed to be paid in order to capacitate the utility to import more power, the minister said.

He said the nation required 96 million U.S. dollars for power imports for the next six months, and that the Zimbabwean government had since written to South Africa for more power imports once it starts servicing its debt.

The minister said the nation needs to save power while also expanding investment in new energy projects, including renewable energy projects.

The minister was expected to launch the country’s renewable energy policy soon.

Legacy debt affecting Zimbabwe fuel imports: energy minister

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe owes foreign fuel suppliers 200 million U.S. dollars which is affecting importation of fuel into the country, among a host of many other challenges, energy minister Fortune Chasi said Thursday.

He told a parliamentary portfolio committee on energy that the legacy debt, together with rampant misconduct by players in the sector, had worsened the fuel crisis which is being caused mainly by shortage of foreign currency.

"There is a 200 million dollars legacy debt from the suppliers that needs to be unlocked.

"This is certainly weighing down the industry because the risk is that even for those who are not being affected, the lenders tend to be extremely cautious," Chasi said.

He said there was also need for the central bank to synchronize letters of credit for fuel importation to avoid intermittent fuel supply gaps currently being experienced in the country.

"We also need to have long-term fuel supply facilities so that there is adequate fuel in bond at all times," he said.

He decried rampant indiscipline in the fuel sector, and warned that his ministry would be instituting various measures to deal with the misconduct.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said the bank was now making repayments on the legacy debt so as to unlock more funding for fuel importation.

He said the central bank had also secured 115 million dollars worth of credit lines for fuel importation to last for the whole of June.

"That 115 million dollars line of credit procures around 170 million liters and with consumption at 130 million liters a month, we do believe that the line of credit is sufficient to ensure that there are no fuel queues," he said.

Zimbabwe President Mnangagwa swears in
female judge as new anti-corruption boss

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean leader Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday swore into office Loice Matanda-Moyo as the new chairperson of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).

ZACC is a constitutional body whose functions revolve around combating corruption as well as encouraging transparency, honesty and financial discipline in both the public and private sectors.

The old ZACC, chaired by Job Whabira, was dissolved in February after Mnangagwa felt it had failed to deliver its mandate.

Other members of the commission will be appointed soon after public interviews to be conducted by Parliament in the near future.

Matanda-Moyo, who is a judge of the High Court of Zimbabwe and wife to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo, said she would fight corruption as vigorously as she could.

"Corruption is a vice that must be fought strenuously and I will fight corruption.

"My message to the corrupt is immediately stop corruption," she told state news agency New Ziana after taking the oaths of office and loyalty.

Mnangagwa has since his ascendency to power in 2017 declared corruption as one of the country’s top enemies.

Peace prevails in Zimbabwe amid threats of violence

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Peace prevailed throughout the country and it was business as usual Thursday morning despite threats of violence that had been issued on social media earlier in the week.

Police said Wednesday that they were investigating the source of related messages.

Spokesperson Paul Nyathi told Xinhua in an interview shortly after midday that the situation was peaceful throughout the country.

"Currently all the reports from all parts of the country indicate that the situation is peaceful," he said.

The police on Wednesday said they were on high alert following the posting of messages and assured the people of safety.


Zimbabwe government condemns latest price increase for fuel

Zimbabwe discomfort with Implementing of Austerity Measures

Zimbabwe Central Bank scrapping subsidized Exchange Rates

Zimbabwe confirms Annual Inflation Index rising to 76 per cent

Zimbabwe court declare Chamisa illegitimate opposition leader



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