Saturday, June 15, 2024

President Hakainde Hichilema Addresses Ongoing Load Shedding, Unveils Energy Sufficiency Strategy

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President Hakainde Hichilema has addressed the disruptions caused by ongoing load shedding in the country in a Facebook post. In the post, President Hichilema stated, “We are very much alive to the disruptions caused by the ongoing load shedding to various economic sectors, small scale businesses, vital installations, households and ordinary people. We are doing everything in our power to mitigate these challenges now, in the immediate term and long term.”

To address the issue, President Hichilema has announced the development of an Energy Sufficiency Strategy through the Ministry of Energy. The strategy aims to expedite processes for independent power producers to invest in the country and build a vibrant economy that will create business opportunities and jobs for citizens. President Hichilema emphasized, “Our vision is very clear and resolute, and that is to build a vibrant economy that will create business opportunities and jobs for our citizens. We will not depart from this route regardless of the unexpected obstacles we find on the way.”

The load shedding, which will now last for 12 hours daily until further notice, is a result of low water levels at Kariba Dam, a shared resource between Zambia and Zimbabwe. President Hichilema addressed concerns about unreliable reports that may misinform and derail the government’s plans, stating, “We have also stated before, that we are cautious of unreliable reports that may misinform and derail our resolve and plans to deliver on our promises to the Zambian people. These will not be excused going forward.”

The dam, which hosts hydropower generation plants for both countries, has been severely impacted by climate change-induced irregular rainfall patterns. The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) directed the two power companies, ZESCO in Zambia and ZPC in Zimbabwe, to reduce generation at Kariba in December of last year. ZESCO was asked to reduce generation at the Kariba North Bank Power Station to 800 MW maximum, while ZPC was directed to reduce power generation to a maximum of 300 MW.

Zimbabwe’s reliance on Kariba Dam has increased due to the struggles of its aging coal power plants, which have an installed capacity of 920 MW but generally only produce around 300 MW. Zambia, on the other hand, recently commissioned the 750 MW Kafue Gorge Lower hydro project, giving the country excess generation capacity of 1,156.8 MW until recently. Despite this, load shedding has still been necessary due to the low water levels at Kariba Dam.

President Hichilema’s government is working to mitigate the challenges caused by the load shedding and is encouraging investment in independent power production as a long-term solution. The Energy Sufficiency Strategy, which will be shared with the public and allow for Zambian participation in power-producing ventures, is a crucial part of this effort. President Hichilema concluded his Facebook post by saying, “We have said it before and we will say it again; we will spend most of this year unlocking domestic rigidities that affect economic growth.”

27 COMMENTS

  1. This man can lie shamelessly just a few months ago he said he had ended load shedding in nine months. ECL dubbled power generation while him decide to export. Zimbabwe and Namibia are booting of importing power from Zambia. He only knows how to sell things.

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    • kci says, ËCL doubled power generation while him decide to export”‘ this reminds me the toll gates ECL left, which the new government is silent on the operation of these toll gates.Journalists, and especially the opposition parties, , praise singers and the CSOs to persue transparency on these toll gates.Are in operation or closed?

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  2. This a just a flash in the pan that has losers of the like of PF and surrogates like Membe etc excited over nothing. This will be over come February and this economy will roll again to higher heights and you will all eat the dust.

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  3. At the last press conference he denied that there was going to be any load shedding, but it has come to pass. Kariba has now become the scape goat when he continuously accused the dead PF of blaming the same dam. Fact is he must have signed something with the masters that he will supply their industries especially in the DRC with uninterrupted power

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  4. Does HH even remember what he was saying when he was in the opposition? He has stepped on every promise he gave.

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  5. All this statement without siting a single project and attempt to explain what he said about load shedding a thing of the past.

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  6. Politicians are all the same….they’re just focused to fill up their personal bank accounts…..UPND IS JUST AS BAD AS PF EVEN WORSE….they’re all evil…they all get paid to rob us and feed themselves

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  7. We know government then and government now cannot stop power exports to enable them earn some money to service the huge ZESCO loans believed to be in billions of dollars. Why not just come out and explain instead of giving very feeble arguments like these are long term international legal agreements that cannot be stopped, every contract has an exit clause, and this one is the easiest to exit with international markets because it is a force majeure (an act of God), so be truthful please as that is the only thing that will set you free and not any spinning.

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  8. Is PF back – load shedding is back. Cadres are beating citizens at radio stations. UPND cadres are flaunting assests on social media. Kwacha is running away

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  9. No person becomes the president for the first with the experience to run the country. But this is becoming too much for HH, to handle, to the point that he is now afraid to face the media, which he promised to do on monthly basis and he is constantly postponing cabinet meeting. Once marketed to the people as the Wiser, Sharp & Creative person to run Zambia. Making things worse the nation does NOT have a Government Spokesperson. HH boastfully sold a lie to the people that he is Mr. “FIX IT. It’s no difference to the lie that ( Michael Sata ) told about fixing the economy in 90 days.

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  10. ZESCO and ZESA(In Zimbabwe) are both guilty of mismanaging the Kariba dam.
    The peak dam water levels in June/July 2022 were very low compared to the previous year 2021 by almost 3 meters.
    The two utility companies totally ignored this warning sign and continued generating power at normal capacities.
    Buy November 2022 it was too late to rescue the situation. Now we have 12 hrs of loadshedding

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  11. This is a lesson to us Zambians,HH has no idea how to run a Country.When in opposition he was telling us PF has no Leadership to run Zesco/Electricity system.2026 is coming for us to exercise our voting power.

  12. Just continue enjoying Ichilemas lies. The problem is not water levels. The problem is we have added more customer to export to. Water level do not drop suddenly. They are gradual and are monitored continuously. Where did HH get the statement from that load shedding is a thing of the past? That statement was correct but it just like some lady telling her friend that her husband is good in bed. DRC, ZIM. Botswana, Namibia always have power deficits and you go announce that you a have excess.

  13. I’m very disappointed with the new dawn government. They lied to us with a straight face. In serious governments someone very senior at ZESCO should have been fired by now.

  14. HH.Eyes on the ball.Flies can also be disruptive,but it is just flies.Come next 2 months and they will looking for other bogg.

  15. Looks like PF has rebranded very well….they’re now wearing red….and they’re called UPND….same shiiiit different days

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