Business executives and some residents of Zimbabwe’s two largest cities say massive power cuts announced Monday by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) will cripple businesses nationwide and force local people to cut down trees for domestic use.
They told VOA Studio 7 that they have already endured enough power cuts and as a result, additional load shedding outside the publicized schedules, is ill-timed as it coincides with the festive season.
The business executives said they will lose millions of dollars in potential revenue as they normally make large sums of money during the Christmas period.
ZESA said it will be carrying out an extensive maintenance program at Hwange and Kariba power stations from Monday up to January next year.
Bulawayo businessman, Bulisani Ncube, said the power utility does not care about businesses. “It is shocking that they conduct such an exercise during this time of the year,” he said.
Comesa Business Council secretary general, Trust Chikohora, said the power cuts are ill-timed.
“The tragedy is that generators which are a substitute for power being supplied by ZESA cannot sustain certain industrial operations,” said Chikohora.
Roderick Fayayo, director of the Progressive Bulawayo Residents Association, said local people do not have cheap alternative sources of power.