By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
People in Mutasa North Constituency have tasked their legislator Chido Madiwa to enquire from Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi why they are not being spared from the load shedding being implemented by Zesa when they are home to various mini hydro-power stations.
Zesa which is failing to produce enough power to meet the country’s needs is currently implementing level-two load shedding were people are going for about 18 without power and so dire is the situation that power only comes back around 23:00 hrs.
Honourable Madiwa has since written a letter to Minister Chasi expressing her constituency’s displeasure to the status quo adding that they had expected a change of woes since the setting up of independent mini-power plants in the area.
“Honourable Minister the hydro-electricity projects in Honde Valley initiated by Nyangani Renewable Energy Private Limited were expected to put a lid on the perennial power problems in some parts of Manicaland as investors and the community had expressed confidence in “go green” initiative.
“Nyamhingura Hydro Power Station situated in the Eastern Highlands is powered by Nyamhingura River and is now functional, producing 1,1 Megawatts (MW).
“The power is enough to service the whole Eastern Highlands estate, Zindi Growth Point, Sagambe Growth Point, Mapokana Business Centre and could extend to other areas if the power output is increased,” read part of the letter.
The legislator also revealed that she is receiving many complains on the phone from villagers especially in Buwu who are also crying foul that powers lines from the mini-hydropower plants pass through their areas but are not benefitting from them as they are not connected.
“Buwu community needs electricity. This is the area generating electricity and villagers are disheartened that electricity lines are passing through their villages without them benefitting,” she said.
The area boasts of Arda Katiyo Tea Estate which was resuscitated last year after years of neglect but is now grappling with electricity challenges which are affecting production.
“Arda Katiyo was closed years back which resulted in a whole tea processing factory being put on halt, with its multi-million dollar processing equipment and no one came to its rescue until end of last year when Northern farming took over.
“As I speak there is a hive of activities at Katiyo but the challenge is electricity. Zesa is failing to connect this multi-million dollar project which requires nothing but technical skills and the company is also willing to assist,” she said.-