UPDATE 1-Zimbabwe faces worst power cuts in 3 years, mines hit (Reuters Africa – May 13, 2019)


HARARA, May 13 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s state power utility imposed the worst rolling blackouts in three years on Monday, with households and industries including mines set to be without electricity for up to eight hours daily.

The power cuts are bound to stoke mounting public anger against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government as Zimbabweans grapple with an economic crisis that has seen shortages of U.S. dollars, fuel, food and medicines as well as soaring inflation that is eroding earnings and savings.

Many Zimbabweans say life is getting harder and that Mnangagwa is failing to deliver on pre-election promises last year to rebuild an economy shattered during Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), citing reduced output at its largest hydro plant and ageing coal-fired generators, said power cuts would start on Monday and last up to eight hours during morning and evening peak periods.

The country last experienced such serious blackouts in 2016 following a devastating drought. Isaac Kwesu, chief executive of Chamber of Mines, which groups Zimbabwe’s biggest mining companies said critical industries like mining should be spared from the black-outs, locally known as load shedding.

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