Zimbabwe is battling serious power shortages despite promises by the national electricity supply authority (ZESA) to ease load-shedding through increased imports during the festive season.
Claim: Zimbabwe Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Magna Mudyiwa claimed in Parliament last week that the country would not have been facing the current problems if licensed Independent Power Producers (IPPs) had developed promised projects with a capacity of 2 000MW.
Is this true or false?
Verdict: False, according to publicly available statistics from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA).
The ZERA website https://www.zera.co.zw/ indicates there are 30 IPPs licence holders with a potential of producing 200MW — not 2 000MW.
During a question and answer session on the Zimbabwe’s power problems, Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said in Senate: “They were IPPs with no money and they started looking for money when they got the licences. If all the IPPs had solar plants as they had claimed when they applied for licences, we could have 2 000MW coming from IPPs”.
Delayed and inadequate investments in new power generation stations and in refurbishing old plants in southern Africa has led to a crisis in principally South Africa and Zimbabwe.
In the face of these power shortages, state and energy sector officials are throwing around statistics — mostly of what might have been.
How much power is ZESA currently producing for the national grid against an average 1 800MW — when all its generators are firing?
According to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) as of 20 December 2022, the national grid was carrying 847MW – less than half its normal electricity feed.
These are the Electricity Generation Statistics from ZPC.
|Electricity generated (MW)
By Dylan Dzenga, an intern at ZimFact and a member of the University of Zimbabwe fact-checking club, contributed in compiling this fact check.- Zimfact