Zimbabwe looks set to pay approximately USD 40 million this month to the company that runs Cahora Bassa, just half (approximately) of the debt they owe on their electricity bill. The payment has been set as a prerequisite to continuing power supply to the country after power supply was temporarily suspended to Zimbabwe last month. Rolling blackouts have almost become the norm in Zim.
Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, the issue of payment for electricity is turning into a war of words. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is owed an estimated USD 550 by Zimbabwean electricity users and has embarked on aggressive disconnections. The Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister is furious, claiming that the disconnections have decimated crops - particularly problematic given that Zimbabwe faces an estimated shortfall of 1m tonnes of maize this harvest. The Engery and Power Minister strongly supports the move. To complicate matters, the two are on opposite sides in the Unity Government.