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Energy Minister: Power Outages in Zimbabwe to Worsen

Zimbabweans are expected to brace for continued electricity outages after Energy Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire announced Thursday that electricty shortages plaguing zimbabwe will get worse.

Mavhaire, who addressed a news conference accompanied by Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority chief executive officer, Josh Chifamba, said the power cuts would slightly ease by the end of October but a long term solution is four years away.

Mavhaire said Zimbabwe is currently producing less power than national demand, as regional nations - apart from Mozambique - have stopped exports due to rising demands back home.

The power utility though warned more outages are expected over the coming months as it performs energy station maintainance.

Zimbabwe’s power demands are over 1,800 megawatts per day, but local power stations are producing just over 1,100 megawatts.

The power company, which is currently involved in an expansion project at the Hwange and Kariba power stations, said output will be boosted by 2017.

Though business organizations have called on ZESA to ease the planned power cuts, Mavhaire said critical sectors like hospitals, central business districts, airports, broadcasting stations, commercial farmers and more would not face power cuts.

The news that people should brace for more power cuts has not been well-received by zimbabweans who say they are also facing extreme water shortages.

For perspective, VOA reporter Tatenda Gumbo spoke to former Energy Minister and current Member of Parliament for Warren Park, Elias Mudzuri, and Combined Harare Residents Association chairman Simbarashe Moyo.

Moyo said Zimbabweans are suffering and will continue to suffer until government makes real changes in power generation.