The Republican President Edgar Lungu today visited the Kafue Gorge and the Kariba Dam to have a first hand sense of the load shedding problem that has engulfed the country. During the visit, the President Lungu has appealed to National Assembly speaker Patrick Matibini to allow MPs to travel to Kariba dam and see for themselves the low water levels at the dam.
President Edgar Lungu also challenged ZESCO to carry out its Power rationing equitably among Zambians.
The President said that there are concerns that the available power is not shared equally among the citizens.
President Lungu was speaking after receiving a briefing on the current national power deficit in the country from ZESCO Managing Director Victor Mundende at Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre.
The President who toured the Kariba Dam said that Zambians have complained that the elite in suburb areas have less time of load shedding than those in peri-urban areas.
President Lungu also wanted to find out how much progress ZESCO has made in importing power from Mozambique to mitigate the effects of load shedding in the country.
And Energy Minister Christopher Yaluma said that the elite in the suburbs should also feel the pinch of power rationing like every other Zambia.
Meanwhile, ZESCO has since started importing about 100 Mega Watts of power from Mozambique.
ZESCO Managing Director Victor Mundende also said that ZESCO staff will be going back to Mozambique next week to conclude the deal.
He was speaking at Kariba Dam today when President Lungu toured the power generation facilities to have an on the ground understanding of the prevailing power deficits.
And Mr. Mundende has dispelled assertions that defective turbines are the cause of the current national loading shedding.
He has maintained that the current power rationing is due to low water levels.
And in responding to the President if ZESCO had not anticipated the situation, Mr. Mundende stated that the rainfall pattern was very deceptive.
He says ZESCO has since restricted its power generation to 540 Megawatts against an average generation capacity of 800 Megawatts at the Kafue Gorge Power Station.
He said that Zambezi River Authority has also given a restriction of generating 800 Mega watts at Kariba Dam against the generation capacity of over 1 000 Mega watts because of the safety of the dam wall.
Mr. Mundende said that if ZESCO generated power at full capacity with the current water levels, the water would only last up to October and the country would experience a total blackout.
He said that the current load shedding will allow generation to continue until December when the rains are anticipated.