Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Zambian President Holds Emergency Meeting to Address Energy Crisis and Load Shedding Issues

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Zambia is facing an energy crisis, and President Hakainde Hichilema held an emergency meeting on Saturday to address the issue. The meeting included energy sector stakeholders, and focused on the problems surrounding load shedding, the Kariba Dam, and the dam’s unique challenges.

In a statement on Facebook, President Hichilema acknowledged the difficulties posed by load shedding and said, “We acknowledged the fact that the dam is managed as a common resource owned by two countries and therefore that its utilization is a bilateral matter that requires further harmonization. The challenges of load shedding affords us a rare opportunity to provide a long term resolution to a matter that has dogged our country for 50 years. We acknowledge these problems and will not shy away from finding lasting solutions.”

He also emphasized the importance of independent power producers and directed that any laws impeding their participation be addressed urgently. The President stated, “We reiterated our view that independent power producers should come on board and that any law that impedes this process should be dealt with urgently.”

In an effort to mitigate the impact of load shedding on small businesses, farmers, millers, and ordinary citizens, the government plans to expedite the process of bringing private power facilities onto the power grid. President Hichilema said, “We directed that ways be explored to cushion the impact of load shedding on small businesses, the farming community, millers, and ordinary citizens by expediting the process of bringing private power facilities onto the power grid to mitigate the power shortage.”

On Sunday, President Hichilema will visit the Kariba North Bank and Maamba for an on-site inspection, after which the government will review progress on Monday. He said, “Tomorrow, Sunday 8th January 2023, we will visit Kariba North Bank and Maamba for an on-site inspection, after which we will reconvene on Monday to review progress.”

Aspiring presidential candidate for the opposition Patriotic Front (PF) party, Emmanuel Mwamba, criticized the government’s handling of the energy crisis in a statement on Facebook. Mwamba said, “In November 2022, the Zambezi River Authority informed both Zambia and Zimbabwe that Zimbabwe Power Company(ZPC) and ZESCO had utilized the allocated water for the year and the dam’s usable storage for power generation stood at only 4.6%. So it became clearly inevitable that power generation at Kariba Dam will be adversely affected.”

He also questioned the government’s decision to continue power exports and its failure to prepare for load shedding in December or January. Mwamba said, “I wonder why at this stage in November 2022 Government did not; 1. Plan for immediate suspension of power exports. 2. Form a multi-task and multi-sectoral team to handle efficient use of power and associated issues. 3. Help plan for both independent power producers; Ndola Energy (110 megawatts) and Maamba Collieries (300 megawatts) that use heavy fuels and coal respectively, to help forestall the impending power deficit. 4. Engage citizens and walk with them on the inevitability of load-shedding schedule to be effected by December or January.”

Mwamba also argued that the government’s recent actions and concerns about the Maamba Collieries Power Station are too little, too late. He said, “So the hasty decisions that were made on Friday and Saturday and the concerns around Maamba Collieries Power Station have come too late in the day.”

He pointed out that the Kariba Dam is not the only source of power generation in Zambia, and that the country’s installed capacity exceeds the dam’s power production. Mwamba said before concluding, “Further, a visit to Kariba Lake is not the solution. Kariba is not the only source of power generation.Of the 3,456 installed capacity, Kariba Power Stations produces only 1,080 megawatts.”

29 COMMENTS

  1. In the past politicians would get away with these sort of lies but in the information age BOZA will catchup with you. The truth is, you listened to the capitalists who want you to liberalise the power sector but now you realise the country is not quite ready for this yet. You have some serious explaining to do and that energy minister should be fired for incompetence.

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    • Even the so called international community you used to run to are beginning to turn against you. The BBC are now on your case.

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    • HH will fix this.
      Zambia shouldn’t be same level as the low-life Zimbabwe. Zambia needs to produce electricity from within and sell all Kariba electricity to impoverished Zimbabwe. Fvck Kariba sh!t!

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  2. This self inflicted crisis. The PF we all know were bad but it doesn’t mean they didn’t do anything good at all…. you should have gone slowly to dismantle some of the things they did… but in order to impress….. you have created crises at all fronts eg agriculture, power and energy, health sector. We expect more crisis in food security.

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    • Deja Vu # 2

      Indeed PF had failed in some areas but some things were working. Chiluba made the same mistake. UPND should have looked at what was working and failing, but decided to overhaul everything and it has backfired. HH is behaving like a Football Manager who walks into a new club and decides to disrupt a team by demanding to buy this player and that player without looking at young players in the academy or motivating the current team. In the end, he makes his team worse having spent $Millions on new players. Thus, finally gets fired within a short period.

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    • The situation is embarrassing especially to a fellow who thrives in self praise and all his praise singers who try to stay adamant on false statements. Watching that queer Press Conference now leaves so much to be desired. For some of us all double h speeches are as boring as dope and death. So chilling falsehoods from campaigning as an opposition into accidental status quo. Dictatorship and lies is a dangerous compound of traits in one person. Formulae have eluded the calculator boy.

  3. To visit Kariba to what? This man is an actor, he is playing to the gallery to show that he is serious about resolving the issue and yet he knows naikaba.

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  4. Now that they’re out of power they have suddenly become problem identifiers/solvers!

    Mwamba eve kuwayawaya fye

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  5. And the main Problem with HH is self praise…let people see the development and then give you credit…stop praising yourself over little achievement all the time….”I have done this” “am doing this since am a genius”….let your work speak for itself….now your own loadsheding self praise is haunting you……and like I said stop applying band aid on major issues….we need lasting solutions AND IF YOU HAVE FAILED JUST GRACEFULLY RESIGN

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  6. Having an emergency meeting when all this is self inflicted …you had planned for this and the date was December 15…..lies have short legs so stop acting like you didn’t know that loadsheding was coming…you orchestrated all this together with your nonsensical Ministers…just good at getting heafty checks whilst doing nothing

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  7. @Future Zed
    Yes exactly…HH thinks he can get away with auctioning everything to his Muzungu masters and they’re misleading him and Zambians are now suffering….remember on the issue of Mine Exploration along the Zambezi River….HH has very bad intentions for Zambia….and now he wants to finish ZESCO and give it away for little pennies to his Bazungu masters…remember this is how he acquired his wealth

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    • I tried to warn people before and after elections that 2H was a compromised soul with these baZungu. Their strategy is to reverse any economic progress we make and accelerate confusion and suffering whilst they take our resources. I hope 2H now understands that a Muzungu can never be your friend as long as you are Mufilika. KK looked at this and found the Chinese and said “I think we can do business with these people”…That’s how Zambia was saved from the Muzungu trap of self decay after independence.

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  8. And on top of that he’s traveling to Kariba with a huge entourage wasting more tax payers money…everyone who will accompany him will be on a hefty allowance….typical African leader….good at wasting resources and doing things for the cameras….HH thinks he is acting in a movie….HH NEEDS TO TRIM HIS CABINET INTO HALF……AND SHORTEN HIS MOTORCADE..thats a lot of money being wasted

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  9. This reminds of the saying “Shutting or closing the barn door after the horse has bolted” …HH needs to give his head a wobble he is not running his own company and he is CEO, he has been given a mandate for 5 years by the people of Zambia. You can not have the same ministers in the role for 2 years you need to reshuffle and shake things up a bit. Seriously what are you going to discuss in the emerency meeting? You can not import from where? A ship like Dora?

  10. This reminds of the saying “Shutting or closing the barn door after the horse has bolted” …HH needs to give his head a wobble he is not running his own company and he is CEO, he has been given a mandate for 5 years by the people of Zambia.

  11. You can not have the same ministers in the role for 2 years you need to reshuffle and shake things up a bit. Seriously what are you going to discuss in the emergency meeting? You can not import from where?

  12. Its laughable that a country in the sub tropics is having energy crisis when a country like Germany gets a large portion of electricity from residential customers’ roofs via solar panels. This is country that does not require 365 days of clear sunshine.
    You need innovative solutions just last week I read that ZESCO is waiting for tenders from investors to build solar farms…why? I mean if you paid consumners who install solar panels on their roofs a fee to feed back to the national grid you wouldnt have all this energy crisis. Can you imagine if those houses in Kabulonga and Ibex Hill all had solar panels feeding the grid?

  13. In the UK the govt launched a scheme called the smart export guarantee (SEG) scheme in January 2020, households get paid for solar energy they ‘export’. This is electricity you generate, but don’t use yourself, which is then pumped back into the national energy grid. The prior feed-in tariff scheme was far more generous, with higher rates and you got paid for generating energy, even if you used it yourself.
    The smart export guarantee (SEG) scheme works by requiring energy suppliers with 150,000+ customers to offer ‘tariffs’ to households in England, Scotland and Wales, which pay a set rate for each kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity you generate from solar panels, but DON’T use yourself.

    • These are the sort of innovative schemes the ERB should be proposing not just agreeing to any tariff increments ZESCO comes up with every year.

    • @ Tarino Orange… since Kaunda’s days we have had at least one engineer in cabinet, but none of them ever thought of the simple but effective solution you have presented…. these guys visit projects overseas but only come back with suitcases full of personal goodies. Even the Kariba visit will only end in a heavy luncheon.

    • Deja Vu – Having a Doctor as Minister of Health is not a receipe for success we have had that before…what good is it if this individual has an ego like Dr Chilufya will not listen to technocrats. Sata had Mr Christopher Bwalya Yaluma the man has an impressive CV he is an Electrical Engineer with a Degree and Diploma plus has worked in one of the largest Electricity Generation, Distributors etc in RSA but when the man opens his mouth nothing of substance came out.

    • So many reports were produced 20 years ago about impending energy crisis in Zambia …their solution was more expensive Hydro-electricity… why? it attracts more money and short-term employment. They dont like Solar because its a quick job…places like Luapula, Eastern and Western Province could be serviced by Solar farms.
      They are not asking the right questions to the technocrats or listening to them….the President is there doing pointless emergency meetings instead of a Commision of Inquiry so he gets a comprehensive report with recommedations from technocrats.

  14. So problems can only be identified and solved whilst in opposition….once you’re voted in office…finito now you become a dunderhead…..”IMF….when you vote for me i will grow our economy from within with our own resources…no more IMF we don’t have room for more kaloba”…..after being voted into office first thing is a trip to colonial masters asking for more kaloba….and he continues with a bloated cabinet, long motorcade with gas guzzling SUVs…the entire cabinet lining up at the Airport runway to see him off or welcome him back home after going on a tax payers sponsored trip….we are not a big economy. Stop imitating the USA Presidential motorcade…America has the money…let’s use our resources improving our Health system and Energy

  15. Imagine if your neighbour pays your rent and your bills and food wouldnt it be easier to just move in with them? If independent energy producers or investors also have to give us power why dont we just let them take over government? Do we really need to be voting if our leaders solution to every problem is investors then why do we need them? So we vote for people not to run the country but to bring people to run it

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