Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma has challenged the Engineering Institute of Zambia’s findings suggesting that the current power deficit has been caused by ZESCO’s delay to implement remedial measures despite early indications of subdued water levels at the Kariba Dam.
Mr Yaluma, a former Energy Minister, says the institute’s findings have left a number of questions than answers.
He says the EIZ should have re-engaged the Zambezi River Authority to clarify issues noted in its audit findings before publishing the report as per procedure.
Speaking during the presentation of findings in Lusaka last week, EIZ President Benard Chiwala said the reservoir at Kariba Dam has not reached its maximum retention level of 488.5 meters in the last five years.
Mr Chiwala said investigations showed that Lake Kariba started the 2014-2015 rain season on a lower reservoir level than the previous five years with approximately 40 billion cubic meters in storage as at September 30th, 2014.
He revealed that despite restrictions on water use by Zambezi River Authority, ZESCO and the Zimbabwe Power Authority -ZESA- continued to generate power way above the 500 megawatts revised threshold, leading to further reduction of water levels.
He said the low reservoir levels for the 2014/15 season cannot be attributed to the poor inflows alone as the daily reservoir was 80 percent filled during the month of July.