Home > General, Zimbabwe > HARARE- the dark city!!! A week of darkness!!

HARARE- the dark city!!! A week of darkness!!

It is exactly one thirty in the morning and I am writing a post. I’m not that much of a blog junkie, I can go for a few days without posting, but it has been a whole week without electricity in Harare. I last posted exactly a week ago and had a few posts that have since expired to post, but there was no electricity. From Monday the ZESA goes at 5am and comes back 11pm. I might as well be in rural Zimbabwe and not the capital city of Zimbabwe. Power cuts are just on the rise and unfortunately in truly African style, some suffer more than others. Some bear the whole brunt of power shortages, to make lives of others easier. Should electricity not be a basic human right?

Yes, I hear that Maputo has cut Zimbabwe out for failure to pay their bill. If a country cannot pay its own electricity bill?!… Small surprise, the president himself hasn’t paid his?? Wonder wonder. He can afford to pay his, so why isn’t he. Maybe his secretary or amai Grace just forgot. I wonder whether he is in total darkness. Sadly, the old age pensioner, widow, child headed homes, unemployed people and every other regular Joe gets their electricity cut of for as little as US20. This is the justice we have in Zimbabwe.

What is intreguiging is the fact that some people profess to never have power cuts because they live near government officials or ZESA employees. This is scandalous. How can a utility company be so partial, prejudiced and biased? It seems to me like it would be reasonable to take power for everyone fairly. For a whole week we have had no ZESA, which is what we call electricity here in Zimbabwe (because the power company is/was called ZESA). I literally spent a whole week without seeing any lights or using any of today’s modern day conveniences. Can you imagine? No ZESA for a whole week. Thank God I do not blow dry my hair every morning. I hear there are some really creative ways of blow drying your hair without ZESA. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Moral of the story, WE WANT ZESA.

The cruel thing about the ZESA crisis is that when the bill comes it won’t reflect the power outages. There is only one electricity provider and the population is at ransom. It seems electricity goes to the government officials, politicians, ZESA employees and any other special people out there. So if you are fortunate enough to live around those privileged people, ZESA will never go out on you.

It has now been reported that the powers that be do not even bother to pay their electric bills. Politicians owe hundreds of thousands of dollars, American dollars to the power company. Don’t get me wrong, not all the ministers in the government, but a few, have chosen not to pay their bills and each of these bills runs into tens of thousands of dollars and some into hundreds of thousands of dollars. The President’s bill has been reported to be US350 000, again, don’t get me wrong, these are US dollars not Zim dollars. It is rather peculiar. Does he run a small town or something to run up such a large bill? What does he do with all that electricity? Or maybe he has simply never paid for electricity. I hear most households pay an average of a hundred dollars a month, that would mean that he hasn’t paid electricity for 3500 months, which would be equivalent to 291 years! He’d have to live three times to run that kind of bill. Ok, maybe he uses more electricity than the rest of us, so maybe he uses US1000 a month, that is still 350 months without paying electricity, which is still equal to 29 years, meaning he hasn’t paid electricity since before Robert Junior was born. But maybe he just has ten houses each using US1000 ZESA a month. Or maybe amai Grace uses US10 000 worth at the farm. It gets really twisted and confusing and I will let my pretty head rest that case.

So I thought all the powers that be could afford generators and fuel for their regenerators or better still solar and efficient energy sources. But hey, why bother investing in solar when you can get the electricity for free. Why by the cow when you can get the milk for free.

Speaking about generators, how much money goes into powering homes and businesses with generators. How many generators have been bought? How much fuel is consumed by these generators? If Borrowdale where the rich and famous live had put all their generator money into a kitty and set up a wind farm or their own alternative power source ,they may have been able to get off the national grid. Maybe be the rest of us wouldn’t go for week in darkness. But seriously if someone had taken all the money used to buy generators, Kariba may have been refurbished or at least something could have changed.  

My niece coined a nice phrase, she said, ZESA yacho yava yepamoto, that is the ZESA is now on the fire. My wish, if I had a penny to throw into the wishing well, is that those who can afford to get off the national grid must do so!!!! We would like to see some one leading by example. GET off the national Grid. It will help some of the others who cannot afford to install efficient solar systems. Generators are a curse, all the fuel and the noise; the whole location definitely cannot run generators each time ZESA goes. Imagine the noise pollution, the air pollution, not to talk about the dents in people pockets.

They say that nothing good comes out of darkness, so let me get off before I offend some. But they also say that the darkroom is where negatives are developed. But we live in the digital age, NO NEED FOR DARK ROOMS! Give us some light. We shall blame the darkness and the writing in the wee hours of the morning for the random post. My early morning rant.


Categories: General, Zimbabwe
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