Joseph Madzimure and Yeukai Tazira
Government is pressing ahead with the re-bundling of ZESA and will appoint a competent board in a bid to restore good corporate governance in the national power utility.
Energy and Power Development Minister Advocate Fortune Chasi told The Herald that it was imperative to re-bundle ZESA’s operations in line with global trends.
“There is no uniformity of practice around how a power utility is structured,” said Minister Chasi.
“Some countries are re-bundling, we unbundled and have decided that we are going to put them together.
“For us to have a properly run entity, we need to look at issues of good corporate governance.”
Minister Chasi said the current set-up at the power utility was deplorable considering that the board did not have integrity and experience, which exposed the company to poor performance.
“When you do not have a proper board manned by men and women of integrity and experience, you have all sorts of things happening, so we need to stop that.
“We need visionaries on the board and once we have appointed them, they will run the entity without interference from the Government,” he said.
Government first unbundled ZESA in 1997 and later in 2006.
The unbundling created five companies, namely Powertel Communications, the Zimbabwe Electricity and Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC), the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), Zesa Enterprises (Zent) and Zesa Holdings.
Government also set up the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the Zimbabwe Regulatory Authority (Zera), which regulates the energy sector.
However, critics say the unbundling of the power utility brought inefficiencies as all subsidiaries have a managing director and other top posts, which expose the companies to huge costs as the bosses earn top dollar, over and above the obnoxious perks such as top-of-the-range vehicles and holiday allowances.
Minister Chasi added that he was glad that President Mnangagwa, in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Tuesday, was keen to see the power utility operating efficiently.