In order to sustain business operations, PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has instructed ZESCO to explore dividing the 12 hours of load shedding per area into a six-hourly plan.
According to Mr. Hichilema, government will not hesitate to accept accountability when there are problems because doing so is essential to solving them.
He has also said that political convenient avenues should not be used to address problems.
Speaking after touring the Maamba Collieries and Kariba ZESCO power plants to properly understand the scope of energy producing capacities, President Hichilema asked ZESCO to take into account dividing the prescribed 12 hours of load shedding.
“In order to mitigate the impact on small businesses, we have directed ZESCO to consider splitting the 12 hours of load shedding per area into a six-hourly schedule, so that they can maintain their operations. We shall not shy away from taking responsibility where challenges are being faced, as that is key to addressing them. And in addressing these problems, we shall not take politically convenient, populist routes; our decisions shall be based on building sound foundations that will last for generations to come,” he said.
He explained that the purpose of the trip was to better understand the power supply maintenance schedules. He also added that by traveling to the Kariba Dam, which Zimbabwe shares with Zambia, the government will work with the neighboring nation to make the most of and utilize the reservoir.
“We held direct discussions with management of the power plant at Maamba to understand their maintenance schedules, which have greatly contributed to the disruptions of power generation during times when water levels are low in the Kariba Dam. We urged them to speed up the maintenance processes so that they can resume normal operations within the shortest possible time. Further, we hold the view that maintenance schedules should be planned in a manner that do not impede normal power generation on the national grid,” he said.
At the Kariba Dam, the head of state declared, it was clear that procedures and processes had been disregarded to the extent that different stakeholders were unable to properly monitor, assess, and share crucial information at the appropriate time.
“The Kariba Dam is a shared asset between Zambia and our counterparts in Zimbabwe, run by the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA). We shall therefore be engaging our Zimbabwean counterparts to ensure optimization and effective use of this reservoir. We are told that it is evident that we need to enhance compliance levels in this facility in terms of water management,” he said.