Zimbabwe's Energy Minister Elton Mangoma says the country's power utility, ZESA, needs to raise $40 million by the end of the month to reduce its $80 million debt with Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa, which last month reduced power supplies to Harare citing non-payment.
Mangoma said intensified disconnections of defaulters would help raise the money. He said the country's power supply situation could worsen over the Easter break if ZESA fails to raise the funds by Friday.
The minister, who held meetings in Maputo last week with his Mozambican counterpart and the country's energy officials, told the VOA that Cahora Bassa wants Harare to pay at least $40 million dollars before it can up power supplies to Harare.
“They agreed to increase power supply once we have made our payment," said Mangoma. "They expecting us to bring our debt to below $40 million and they said that is when the power supply would be increased for us.”
“For us to have reduced load-shedding during the holidays, it all depends on whether we are able to mobilize the required resources by Friday," said the minister.
ZESA is owed more that $550 million by customers. Mangoma said disconnections of defaulters over the next few days will help raise the money needed to reduce the debt with Mozambique.
“What this means is more power disconnections for everyone,” he said.
“Although I cannot disclose the amount we have at the moment, we are also going to apply multiple methods to raise the money and Government also has to look for other alternatives like loans or where to borrow,” the minister said.