It is suddenly feeling like 2019 again in Harare and other towns as most Zimbabweans are now spending hours in the dark as ZESA seems to have exponentially increased their load-shedding hours. A lot of neighbourhoods especially those in the less affluent suburbs of Western Harare are now spending an average of 10 to 11 hours without power. What is frustrating is that ZETDC, the branch of ZESA tasked with the unenviable role of rationing power say they have no load shedding schedule much to the chagrin of social media users who queried how they were decided who got power and who spent hours in darkness.

Good morning. Our sincere apologies for the inconveniences caused. We do not have a load shedding schedule for now

What ZETDC had to say when we asked them for a schedule.

It is not clear what’s causing the sudden increase in load shedding hours. Zimbabweans are used to erratic power supply but usually, you can expect no more than 3 to four hours without power per day. These normal blackouts are attributed to the shortfall between what ZESA produces and imports versus what we as Zimbabweans use. The latest hours feel anything but normal and ZESA has thus far been mum as to what the cause. Sadly that is again not unusual. Ever since the president installed Hon. Soda Zhemu as the Minister of Energy replacing the public favourite Hon. Fortune Chasi, not communicating what is going on has been the order of the day.

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Western Suburbs bear the brunt of load shedding

There is always talk among people on the streets that ZESA seems to target low-income high density suburbs more than it does the more affluent suburbs where the bigwigs live. In fact, housing agents of use the “good ZESA” line when selling houses or trying to lure rental clients. Without a load shedding schedule, it is hard to establish if this is true and even if it is it might not be that ZESA is targeting the areas out of spite or deference to the bigwigs. It might just be high-density suburbs consume a lot of power and switching them off more often conveniently allows ZESA to meet its goals more quickly. One could argue however that rich people have more electrical gadgets, swimming pools and geysers that gobble more power than the poor who often just use ZESA for lighting and entertainment.