ZESCO blames near countrywide power black out to system failure



State power utility ZESCO says the power blackout that engulfed Zambia last night was caused by a system failure at Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank Power Stations.

The power blackout occurred around 19:40 Hours with only two of the country’s ten provinces having power.

ZESCO National Spokesperson Henry Kapata confirmed that the system failure occurred at 19:30 and disturbed equipment at Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank Power Station.

Mr Kapata revealed that only Western and Southern Provinces had power supply as they are serviced by the Victoria Falls Power Stations.

‘We lost supply to Luapula, Northern, Central, and Copperbelt and off course Lusaka, all generators at Kariba and Kafue went off as a result of the disturbance. Investigations are going on to determine the cause of this multiple lost of system equipment and load,’ r Kapata said.

Mr Kapata added that restoration of supply to affected areas such as Kafue, Lusaka, Chongwe, Kabwe and some parts of Kitwe started at about 01:20 Hours while restoration to the rest of the areas is currently going on.


    • PF has borrowed massively to address the power outages but up to now there is no sign that that huge amount of money was used for its intended purpose.

      Ba naba ndalama bamambala ba PF. PF said power outages will be over by 2013 and they borrowed $650million for that. Did they mean there will be more load shedding to blackout the whole country?

      Anyway some us know that, what ever PF says the opposite is correct. So no surprise at all.

      2016 vote UPND to sort out this mess with the seriousness it deserves.

      Viva UPND and HH, the only true hope and help for Zambia.

    • It was the work of HH and his UPND cadres who did the sabotage to the system since they knew that their tribes men in southern province wont be affected. We are on you thanks to quick response by ZESCO. Our abled bodied president Edgar Changwa Lungu is tirelessly working day in day out to sort out the mercy at this state owned companies. Their must be some elements trying to frustrate the good works of our beloved party PF but remember that we cant AS Zambians vote for Bantustan party UPND which has 95% MPS from one province

    • Soon someone will say that Zesco is tribal. Only Southern and Western have power the rest who voted for Lungu, black out!!! LoL
      2016 UPND!! HH!!

    • its not a system failure. its a people failure. systems r installed & run by humans.

      when things r ok you say: we did well
      and not: the system did well

      when its bad you say: the system failed
      instead of: we failed

      if you will blame the system, then give the system credit as well. otherwise, you are just failures guys – wake up
      you r the only country with so much water resources. you supply power to the whole of sub-saharan africa. if only you can!

    • The whole electricity generation SYSTEM collapses, and you’re attributing it to a SYSTEM failure, WHATS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN? Look, you have over-politicized Zesco and are firing all experienced and competent people, and this the result; USELESS CADRES!!!

    • @Fred,
      Why is 98% MPS in Luapula, Muchinga and Northern Provinces all PF? Are there no other parties in Zambia? For whatever reasons you’ll give is the same reason Southern Province will continue voting UPND. Forget about President Lungu being classified an Easterner. He was voted for pa Chimbuya to dispell the tribal tag Kabimba and Mmembe have given PF? After all Lungu is ‘Bembalised’, speaks Bemba, no Nsenga not even Nyanya yet he has stayed in Lusaka long.
      He is more acceptable in PF because people associate him with the North being born in Chimwemwe and ‘Bembalised’. But now that he has realised who he is and has teamed up with RB there are sentiments against his leadership- luck for him only being incumbent.

    • ..And lo and behold your president was dancing at the airport in Harare.
      Ifintu kwena ni blackout

  1. This is a serious set back and poses both economical and natioanl security risks.

    And if the system is outdated please upgrade it as a matter of urgency.

  2. The docility of Zambians and it is business as usual!!! No tangible explanation from Mr Kapata, and eight hours later they are still investigating the cause of what they have repaired

  3. What investigations are going on when restoration of power has already started in some areas? We need another power utility company to challenge you.

  4. Wanzelu: But ba UPND will take any opportunity to politicise any issue. Even when HH puffs, they will say it is because of PF bad food. These things will also happen under any government. and worse under a UPND government that has no experience at all.

    • Sata and PF’ catastrophic experience has landed the country in the current situation. To date PF is still on a 5 year trial. Amazon give’ you 30 days trial.

  5. ZESCO is the most useless utility company that ever existed in Zambia. They have failed to stabilize power even in critical areas that drive the economy of Zambia.

    I think it’s high time we went back to the system of them footing the bills following the inconvenience the cause. They seem so comfortable when they effect blackouts. They are so useless. the had better be charged for causing the blackout the entire country! We do not care who did what, we just have to have so big fish fired so the rest learn a lesson! Do you know how much money has been lost following ZESCO’s carelessness?

    …and by the way, stop this stupidity of always blaming it on Government! Blame it on their engineers! What do they learn in school??? Leave the politicians out of this … Napela!

    • Easier said than done! To the contrary ZESCO is the only company where people earn their money.
      These are machines which run 24/7 and are bound to fail once in a time. Go Nigeria and South Africa and you will certain start respecting the ZESCO engineers. Dont comment on things you dont understand!

    • I am an engineer and I am biased to blame the politicians. money borrowed doesn’t go to sort out the problems at hand. A lot of money has been borrowed in the past to sort / improve Zesco operations. That is why I am biased to blame the politicians and the docile Zambians

  6. These are the works of HH with some TONGA chaps in the system to sabotage the country,thinking he can rule by creating unnecessary problems since he has run out of ideas.

    • Iwe chinondo note that 96.8% of power comes from Tonga Land and why should they suffer. Vote UPND if you what progress.


  7. …its just incompetence of the highest order on the part of ZESCO…..electricity supply is matter of life and death in some institutions like the hospitals…let Kapata go and tell that young couple who lost a baby….those who lost loved ones at UTH as a result of this blackout….if such ridiculous reason will make any sense to them….this is not the first time this countrywide blackout has happened….it clearly shows that no lesson was learnt from the earlier incidents… which transforms into incompetency I alluded to in my preamble…the system Kapata is referring to MUST have a by pass mechanism….modern planes are usually flown on auto but they have a by pass in case of system failure…all strategic institutions MUST have auto switch generators…geee..

    • These are machines that can fail at any time. Infact we are better than some countries that rely on generators. Don’t post your ignorance here.

    • @Real….
      ……you are a REAL nut….if at all ZESCO is headed by REAL engineers, they wouldn’t have such a stance as yours…by the way which countries are u REALLY comparing with..??…in life you do not compare your self to failures….compare yourself to those who have succeeded….I wont say much because now I know the REAL levels of incompetency at ZESCO as exhibited by yourself… but please bear in mind that when ever this blackout happens…a life is lost….so just get on with the REAL forensic investigation hopefully to eliminate re-occurrence of the same..of which I doubt if that will ever happen with such levels of ‘I don’t care attitude’ and INCOMPETENCY exhibited by you…..

    • Whether Chitundu or whoever, or even yourself as MD FOR ZESCO, will not change things there as long as it is PF ruling. Get rid of those cadres ZESCO has employed who are not qualified.

  8. This beyond laughable even the explanation is comical only in Zambia can one get away with such folly…how does the capital city and the copper-belt experience an all out blackout 50 years after independence. Running a business in Zambia is truly a real joke if heads do not roll after all the money we have invested in ZESCO then just ignore it and continue entertaining such shambolic management.
    This is the selfsame reason my house will be self-sufficient with rain harvesting underground tanks and off the national grid solar power is the way forward.

    Zambians wake up from your docility!!

    • SO to you electricity is mainly for powering the mines…. have not heard of solar power plants supplying whole districts and supplimenting the nation grid? You continue putting all your eggs in one basket as you are just one drought away from disaster you will even have to import yellow maize again.

    • [email protected]….
      ….its actually you who should REALLY avoid exposing your ignorance here….you will be amused to learn that even countries like Russia, the UK who experience just little of the sun shine compared to Zambia….receive just a small percentage of the Sun’s energy compared to what Zambia receives annually…have embarked on solar energy just to go ‘green’ and supplement to the REAL nation grit with convention sources….

    • Because of climate change, countries world over are being encouraged to use renewable energy such as solar. In Zambia, however, we have hydropower which is also a renewable energy and 6,000 MW has still not yet been exploited. Why should Zambia therefore resort to solar energy which is more expensive than hydropower and cannot be generated continuously because of cloud cover and at night? However solar energy can still be used in Zambia in areas remote from the national grid and where the hydropower resource is not available. In Botswana with limited hydropower resources solar energy is quite appropriate to replace the existing thermal power stations.

    • @Jay Jay, Iwe Jay Jay
      I like your post but particularly the last bit about your house having a rain-water harvesting system and possibly an electricity supply system independent of the national grid.
      Seriously speaking both ideas are feasible and you also should think of greening up your house to run the water and electric supply systems efficiently.
      Way to go!


  10. What did Mukanga say when he was minister of Energy?
    He stated that come 2014 there will be no load sheilding but what are we witnessing is the opposite.This government is a joke.Where on earth can we have such as explanation.How many life’s has been lost and other things gone to the contrary?
    Zambia the land of useless voters and vision-less leaders where corruption is the older of the day.
    Where has the euro bond $650 million which was allocated to ZESCO gone?
    Zambia a laughing stock.

    • While it is true that Zambia’s reliance on hydropower is almost 100% and there is need to improve Zambia’s energy mix in case of drought the solution however does not lie in solar plants but in thermal power plants using its abundant coal reserves. The environmentalists will say the use of coal will result in the production of so-called green house gases but other countries with abundant coal supplies such as South Africa, India and China continue getting their energy through the use of coal. Until there is a ban on the use of coal world wide I see no reason why Zambia should not use its God given coal reserves.

  11. We know the system failed. The question begging the answer is, “why did the system fail?”

    We need to investigate what is going on at ZESCO to make sure that there’s no criminality going on.

  12. People let’s be fair and not like this,they are no machines that can run 100% without experiencing failure once in a while. These disturbances on alternators do happen we are told all aternators at kariba north bank and kafue gorge fell out of synchronisim.So some alternators have already been synchronised to the national grid powering the central provinces,Copperbelt and some are waiting to be synchronised,it has to be done step by step,or they may all trip.But people should just remain calm engineers are working hard and we are complaining about just hours.south africa experiences blackout for days

    • There is more load shedding in South Africa but there are no total black outs because a blackout is a total system failure which is avoided through load shedding.

  13. Load shedding is religiously observed in South Africa because according to the ESKOM chief executive: “It pains us to load shed, but we are living on the edge for a variety of reasons. A blackout is a catastrophic event, so when we do load shedding we are trying to retreat from the brink of a disaster.” But in Zambia ZESCO has eased off on load shedding because a minister said there should be no more load shedding. It was not a system failure but simply a blackout due to the country’s load being more than it can generate. Period. Load shedding although HIGHLY UNPOPULAR is a necessary evil if you have limited generating capacity.

    • Its not a blackout out mind your words,southern and western province had power.its kafue and kariba power stations

    • The generating capacity of ka Victoria Power Station is about 100 MW compared to the total installed capacity of over 2000MW. This is 100/2000% or a mere 5%. Ba BENG or Bachelor of Engineering isn’t this to all intents and purposes a black out?

  14. If you searched the whole of Eastern Province today you are likely to find at least two new babies named Ups Phiri. My Eastern cousins never waste time on such ‘little’ things!!

  15. I have lived in many countries. My experience is that you may lose power in certain areas of the country from time to time but nationwide is rare. Never experienced it elsewhere. The real issue is , whatever happened, why did it affect two, geographically separated power plants, at the same time? I know they may use common distribution lines, but they generate independently. Otherwise, it does not make any engineering sense if they are designed to fail together.

  16. I blame the government who probably don’t monitor the plant and expected it to run on it’s own. It needs to be assessed every year and should things need to be replaced do it ASAP. Don’t wait till a part run’s out before running like a chicken with it’s head cut off. It’s like a virus with the government, they seem to want something to break down then run to go borrowing. We have become useless as a nation and this behaviour needs to stop. You already are in debt yet keep borrowing. One day the lenders are going to say enough! You should start living within your means and not have 100 ministers each with a Benz. Embassy’s abroad each deputy head has their own secretary from the diplomat to the deputy high commissioner. Most corporate companies abroad have one secretary and manage…

  17. Why compare with counties facing problems instead of comparing with countries better than us.Will never do things better because we compare ourselves with worse countries,Wake up zesco yes Chitundu is far better than Kapata or whoever.How come there was no news about this nationwide zesco failure on ZNBC at 19hrs this evening?

  18. Which cyprian?Dont mean to be rude but you are one of the most ignorant individuals i have ever come across.Find out what goes on in an organisation then you can make such comments

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