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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Zesco battles to restore power supply

Economy Zesco battles to restore power supply

ZESCO Limited was by yesterday battling to restore normal power supply after the country on Monday experienced widespread blackouts when one of the four transformers at Lusaka’s Leopards Hill high voltage sub-station caught fire.

The Leopards Hill sub-station in Lusaka is a transit point for power being transmitted from Kariba North Bank and Kafue Gorge power stations and collapsed after the fire on one of the transformers leading to the power outage.

Zesco Lusaka division manager, Ernest Mupwaya said in in Lusaka that Lusaka, Central, Eastern, Copperbelt, Northern, Luapula and North-Western provinces were supplied power by Leopards Hill and Lusaka West sub-stations.

Mr Mupwaya said engineers by yesterday morning managed to switch on power to nearly all the provinces except for Lusaka as they were still trying to balance voltage following the loss of one transformer.

Zesco senior manager for marketing and public relations, Lucy Zimba said almost the whole country experienced the power failure except for Southern and Western provinces which are supplied from Victoria Falls, and areas serviced by small hydro power stations.

Ms Zimba said the company started restoring power after 22:00 hours but could not switch on all its customers at once because that would have resulted in damage to the machines at Leopards Hill as well and the Lusaka West substations.

“The power failure emanated from a fault at Leopards Hill high voltage sub-substation in Lusaka. We are now relying on the remaining transformers at Leopards Hill,” she said.

Zesco board chairman, Songowayo Zyambo yesterday directed management to publicise the recovery plan and keep the public informed on the progress being made on the implementation of the recovery plan.

Mr Zyambo said investigations on what caused the fire on the transformer had started.

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) said it had engaged Zesco Limited to establish the full extent of the causes and effects of the nationwide blackout, which happened on Monday.

ERB acting executive director, Lukonde Mfula called for calm during the period and indicated that 80 megawatts of electricity was imported from the Democratic Republic of Congo to service the mines.

Mr Mfula said the Copperbelt Energy Corporation switched on the 80 megawatts of gas turbine alternator generation capacity they owned to ensure the mining sector was not adversely affected by the blackout.

Economics Association of Zambia president, Mwilola Imakando expressed fear that if interruption of power continued, it might lead to reduced productivity and negatively affect the country’s economy.
[Times of Zambia]


  1. Let’s focus more on fault tolerance. Some redundancy must me implemented. It is costly but worth it in the long run.

  2. Where is Shu Shu Shu the stop-information-spread-at-all-cost mis-inform-and-confuse-them debunker? He disputed this zesco story and I almost believed him.

  3. Ba Zesco were are the engineers ? You are a disappointment to the proffession and your licences need to be revoked for failing to practice. Keep us informed on the progress and explain what caused the fire. Please no politics involved because all you politicians are another disappointment.

  4. This is a substation that is strategic in power supply for the whole country hence should have excellent fire fighting that shouldn’t let a transformer get completely burnt. This is what you get for having management. In developed countries the entire Zesco management would have resigned a long time ago on morale grounds. But kuno they don’t…and at the same time still don’t want to perform well. Shame!……engineers mu class only …..ma rubbish….show us the Beng kabili

  5. Morning All Bloggers , depending which part of the world you are, Ba Zesco, instead of moving forward, we are moving back wards to the No Electricity Days, Why. I was home some time last year and the same thing was going on and on, The electricity was on and off. all the time. This is a big mess, please sort yourselves out.

  6. All the People should boycot paying the electicity bills, this is the only way to teach Zesco a lesson.

    They are living in the old , stone days.

  7. Ba Honey, good morning. Khani ya Zesco kuti yakupela na BP, ka. I just dont know what the solution can be to this problem!

  8. Everything in this country is a mess, parastatal companies are a mess, ministries, ministers, vice president, judges, courts , aba president bonse ni mess.

  9. Tekanyeni bane. What zesco experienced is a normal thing that any power suplying company would face. I see no reason why zesco should be subjected to such negative criticisim over some thing that is natural and usual with power stations. Infact the guys are too good to have had raised the station in hours.Thumbs up guys for having restored the affected stations. Job well done!!! I understand that the outages experienced in zambia are un acceptable and that when management put their heads together for the purpose of finding the way forward on the same, all will be well. I wish you all the best guys in serving our country under difficult conditions:) Never give up no matter how much you might be scorned.

  10. I forgive you for being ignorant. People rush to blame engineers as if they even understand a little bit about electricity.Before you make fools of yourselves, ask proper questions which every layman can ask like, What happened, how can this be avoided etc. The only proffession that is internationally respected(ZAMBIAN) is engineering, so stop writing many words full of nothings before trying understand whats going on

  11. # 15 persona, i dont agree with you apa, if they are so good at their jobs, why hasent this mess being sorted out? This problem has been going on for years now and it is not improving , but getting worse, so where are your so called engineers? internationally respected(ZAMBIAN) engineers?

  12. Ba Honey, its not a question of engineers not doing their job. Try to consider their working conditions and the equipment they are servicing which has been there for ages now.

  13. It is very difficult to shut up about this matter# 14 & 15. Especially if am subjected to fixed electricty bills regardless of daily hours of outages. How do other country manage their malaiti? How does Zim?

  14. #17 Ba Honey
    Just because someone is good at there job doesnt mean they cant have problems along the. Being good at your job doenst always mean getting the job done

  15. #20 where is the trading standards or Governing body responsible for Customers rights? They need to Charge Zesco for failing to provide a service to the pipo. The pipo have paid for this service, therefore Ba Zesco must also meet their needs or else compnsate the pipo.

  16. #21 C.I.A, what are you saying , One is either good and able to perform or Rubbish at it , and not able to perform , the lata is Zesco, Rubbish .

  17. Zesco is a let down. I am made to understand that most of equipment around the country is not serviced regulary. All one sees is Zesco engineers and the likes driving round compounds making illegal connections to newly built structures and pocketing the kickbacks. It cant be normal for Zesco failing to rectify faults. Last week it was weed blocking entry points that drive turbines at Kafue Gorge, now its transformers on fire. When are we going to learn. Imagine the mines being switched off with hundreds of miners working underground. Zesco is one public institution that has received Hundreds of Million Dollars from World Bank yet the situation is far from being normal. Break up Zesco into three entities. Generation, Transmission and Distribution, that is when they will fight for survival

  18. Just bring in white chaps or chinese to run this Zesco, you have had 40 yrs and you still cant get it right. Shame on GRZ, shame on you.

  19. Am sure that the country wide chain of blackouts brought with it some consequences like people taking advantange of the situation to rob others,got drunk like never before ,got maria pregnant and ofcourse ka HIV having a field day .oh zesco please try by all means to stop the reoccuarance of an incidence like this

  20. #7 am sure he has no idea what he is talking about, surely how do you blame an engineer for such a problem, blame the planers who didnt think of putting up a back up transformer, you can only blame an engineer if the tansformer was not work not in that case. be realistic.

  21. Fellow Zambian here is something you can use to earn some $$ while you are bloging on LT. Financial Freedom coming your way.
    Enjoy Financial Freedom!

  22. The bottom line is that Zesco has lost the plot and needs a good management team to resolve this matter.ASAP Ka? This is why i have to think twice before i go home sweet home , the light issue is just too much, cos there are alot of things that are affected by it, E.g Cooking, bathing,ironning

  23. Since i left Zambia to settle in Europe, it has really made me hate our politicians more than ever because where I am, Governments take care of its people, they are servants of the electorate. Such things as electricity blackout can never happen, unless it is just subotage. In Zambia, its considered to be normal to live without electricity and water, worse still bills will be paid to these companies. Please ladies and gentlemen our political system needs an overhaul or else our children will suffer even more.

  24. ZESCO has not been recapitalised due to lack of funds since MMD uses Zesco money for elections and other functions. If you look at Zesco employees of today you see a demotivated group un like in years gone when they used to rule our bars.

  25. #35 dont you know that in these companies (zesco, zamtel etc) there is a depertment specifically for engineers and that for planners? thats the reason why i said it was the planners, infact they should all be fired, but the people in front seat never saw anything serious with what happened.

  26. 35, 37- There are engineers who do the scheduling(planing) and those who actually maintain/ repair installation. Its the first group who tells the second group that such and such are due for repairs/ maintainance/replacement etc.

  27. Ba Zesco, no sense of security. the even reveal ati “The Leopards Hill sub-station in Lusaka is a transit point for power being transmitted from Kariba North Bank and Kafue Gorge power stations”

  28. # 38 Deja Vu , the problem at Zesco is the first grp, the planners you mention are not engineers but nepotistic appointees.

  29. Zesco must extend loadshedding to ” sacred ” homes like Kabulonga,Independence avenue,
    PHI,Minestone.Their style of targeting certain soft areas in these times must come to an end.Why shud loadshediing be applied to areas like Ksq,Chudleigh,Chamba valley when this problem is national? Let s share this loss of power equally.

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