The $250 million Dema Diesel Power Plant, which was awarded to Robert Mugabe’s family under unclear and controversial circumstances, is expensive and unsustainable for the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) to manage.
Due to the downturn of the country’s economy and industries, Zimbabwe needs 1000 megawatts. This means that power supplies from the Kariba and Hwange power stations are enough for domestic and industrial use.
It was, therefore, unnecessary and costly for both the cash strapped Zanu PF government and Zesa to engage Sakunda Holdings to provide energy through the Dema power plant.
Sakunda is owned by a known Zanu PF member, Kuda Tagwirei, who went into partnership with Mugabe’s in-law, Derrick Chikore. Chikore’s brother, Simba, is married to Mugabe’s daughter, Bona.
For the Dema project, Sakunda was awarded the contract without going to tender, which according to the country’s laws is a serious criminal offence.
However, it is clear that Zesa was forced to allow the Mugabe family to join feeding trough and Zanu PF’s gravy train by running the Dema power plant. Construction of the plant was supervised by officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet.
Electricity generated at this power plant costs US15, 45c per kilowatt hour (kWh) while at Kariba it is US4, 11c/kWh and at Hwange it is US6, 97c/kWh.
Zesa even imports electricity at even cheaper prices from Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa than what Sakunda is charging it. The Dema project is therefore standing on shaky ground.
The government also chose to opt for the use of diesel power generators instead of cheaper liquid petroleum gas. APR Energy Holdings, the company which was awarded the tender before it was sidelined for Sakunda informed Zesa that it would save $200 million in three years if it used the liquid petroleum gas.
As a result evidence shows that Zesa’s deals have been inflated by over $500 million and senior Zesa and government officials have benefited from these high level corruption deals.
Zesa is now failing to settle its debts amounting to $1 billion and Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique are now demanding cash upfront before Zimbabwe imports electricity and fresh power cuts loom.
With the electricity generated from the Dema project expensive, it is sad to note that the ordinary consumer will be expected to foot the bill on behalf of the Mugabe dynasty.
As the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) we are concerned that Mugabe’s has chosen the sacrifice the poor taxpayer in order to support his family and Zanu PF cronies who are now living large at the expense of the poor.
Corruption at Zesa and Zanu PF’s patronage system Zanu PF will soon lead to serious power cuts as the taxpayers’ funds have been siphoned at the cost of better service delivery.
PDP National Spokesperson