The Zimbabwean Minister of Energy Fortune Chasi who is tasked with the unenviable task of being in charge of ZESA has just said that the power situation in Zimbabwe is set to improve this week after one of the units at Hwange was successfully brought back online.

That is some much needed good news for Zimbabweans who have had another terrible dark week with barely any power.

Last week was a week of unexplained darkness

After a week of respite following the successful Eskom deal, Zimbabweans were shocked to wake up to darkness this past Monday. ZESA were mum on the issue leaving Zimbabweans to speculate that we hadn’t fulfilled the terms of our stringent Eskom deal leading to the South African Power company to switch us off.

After learning of this wild speculation on social media, Eskom quickly moved to dispell the rumours. They swore they were giving Zimbabwe the agreed 400MW as per the agreement. Whatever was causing the obvious return to stage 2 load-shedding was therefore not Eskom’s fault.

It was only on Friday that we learned of the issue from Minister Chasi. It turns out there had been another fault at the antiquated Hwange Power station which had necessitated a return to stage 2 load-shedding.

ZESA incompetence and hubris brought to the fore

All this time ZESA never even communicated the issue to the public. People who were just getting used to the improved power situation were caught unawares as ZESA failed to stick to the stage 1 schedule and instead regressed to stage 2.

Communication is one of ZESA’s problems. In the world of social media where all it takes is a tweet or a Facebook post, it is shocking that the power utility continues to plough on mysteriously and expects its customers to be clairvoyant.

This hubris and arrogance are why people have no faith in the power utility. That attitude cloaks whatever it is the power company does. Faults go on unreported and people have to rely on peer provided information which is sometimes inaccurate.

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