FORMER Energy Minister Elton Mangoma says the current electricity crisis is a result of a failing administration which is “lying” to Zimbabweans that Kariba Dam has dried up.
The country is struggling to produce enough electricity to meet its needs and has drastically reduced power supply to homes and industries.
The situation has worsened in recent days with households forced onto load-shedding schedules that see many around the country going for up to 18 hours without power each day.
Government blames the crisis on low water levels at Kariba Dam which have reduced generation capacity at Kariba Power Station from 750 MW to 475 MW.
In an interview with Newzimabwe.com on the side-lines of Germany national day celebrations in Harare Tuesday, Mangoma said the Zanu PF government has run out of ideas.
“It’s not true that Kariba Dam has dried up. It is their machines which are not working and they are lying to the nation,” Mangoma said.
“There is enough water to generate electricity in Kariba dam and what needs to be done is finding alternative ways of adding on the national grid.
“What they should be doing right now is looking for money to improve the power generation capacity and proposing for the use of alternative energy such as solar and biogas and of course repairing the old and aged Hwange thermal power station”.
However, despite Mangoma’s claims, neighbouring Zambia which also depends on Kariba for electricity is also experiencing serious power supply problems.
The dam straddles the Zambian and Zimbabwean border and supplies both nations with about 1,830 megawatts of power when running at full capacity.
But generation capacity collapsed this year as water levels at Lake Kariba, the world’s largest man-made reservoir, dropped to less than 30 percent.
Zambia’s former Vice President Guy Scott told lawmakers last week that the two countries were to blame for overusing water allocations for hydropower plants.
Zambia and Zimbabwe drained the reservoir like “two puppies drinking milk from the same saucer,” he said.
An additional facility that Zambia had built on the north bank of the dam was run constantly when it was designed to be used for 3.5 hours a day, he said.