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'Huge Fault' Shuts Zimbabwe Power Station, Causes More Load-shedding

Zimbabwe's power utility, ZESA, says massive power cuts currently affecting the nation are a direct result of a huge technical fault at its Hwange thermal power plant.

ZESA says repairs are underway and is expecting the power plant to be up and running again by Sunday.

Spokesman Fullard Gwasira told VOA technicians and engineers have made significant progress and are now in the second phase of repairs.

Load shedding worsened mid-week following the fault at Hwange, plunging the country into darkness. This follows a recent decision by Mozambique's power utility, Cahora Bassa, to cut the amount of electricity it gives Harare dues to a huge unpaid debt.

“Zesa is doing all it can to ensure power is restored by Sunday, and we are urging our consumers to be patient while we fix the fault,” said Gwasira.

Meanwhile business operators say there are suffering huge loses due to the prolonged power cuts, which are forcing some smaller businesses to close shop.

Caterer Samantha Shava, who operates a café in Eastlea, Harare, blames ZESA for her losses saying lack of information has worsened their plight.

"We understand the country has got a problem in terms of money to buy electricity," said Shava.

"But why is it that there's no-one in the government initiating a national conversation on how we can all work together to help pay Cahora Bassa, the Mozambican company that ZESA owes. We cannot continue to live like this."