Business

Residents miffed by unscheduled, incessant power cuts

Roseline Mutare

MASVINGO –Residents and businesses in the ancient city have expressed disappointment over the unscheduled and incessant electricity power cuts they are experiencing.

 The power cuts have caused untold suffering to residents this winter and the situation is exacerbated by the flu bug that has hit the country recently hence the need to stay warm and use hot water wherever possible.

 The power outages, which can last for up to 19 hours, have become a daily occurrence, disrupting livelihoods and economic activities.

What ekes the residents most is the power cuts are not regulated, they are just haphazard unlike before when there was a published timetable that would allow businesses to plan accordingly.

When asked, why there was no load shedding timetable, the district office said they were not given one by the head office and they are in the dark just like anyone else.

ZESA spokesperson, Prisca Utete said she will find out from ZETDC on the availability of a timetable and asked this reporter to call on Monday (tomorrow) for an official response.

“We are tired of being kept in the dark, we need a timetable so we can plan our operations and make alternative arrangements, this unpredictability is destroying our businesses,” said Juliet Moyo, a small scale baker.

Farmers are also feeling the pinch, as they rely on electricity to irrigate their winter wheat crop crop.

“We cannot afford to lose our crops due to power outages, we urge Zesa to provide a timetable so we can plan our farming activities accordingly.

“The government encouraged us to grow more wheat this season to feed the nation but we are being sabotaged by ZESA,” said Wilbert Chitengu, a farmer from Bushmead plots.

“We need electricity to power our homes, schools, and hospitals, we urge Zesa to provide a timetable so we can plan our daily lives,” said Tineyi Moyo, ZBS Mucheke.

“We understand that power outages are sometimes unavoidable, but we need to know when they will occur so we can plan ahead,” she added.

The lack of a load shedding timetable has led to calls for Zesa to improve its communication with consumers.

As the power outages continue, residents, farmers, and business owners in Masvingo are pleading with Zesa to provide a load shedding timetable to help them navigate the situation. Until then, they will continue to suffer the consequences of unpredictable power outages.

“Running a business in Zimbabwe is proving to be very difficult due to high taxation as we are one of the most taxed nation, it’s like one is punished for starting a business as you taxed form left right and centre, now the situation is being compounded by power outages.

“Resorting to generators and solar energy is very expensive and one may be forced to close operations,” said one prominent miner on condition of anonymity.

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