ZAMBIA is unhappy that Zimbabwe has ignored a demand by the Zambezi River Authority to stop generating electricity from the shared Lake Kariba’s hydroelectric power facility due to a water capacity crisis, thus failing to ensure optimal use of the dam critical to both countries.
This comes as Zambian Hakainde Hichilema visited Lake Kariba on the Zambezi River dividing the two on Sunday to assess the situation amid worsening power shortages in both neighbouring states. Hichilema visited Kariba and Maamba Collieries.
“We will be engaging with our Zimbabwean counterparts to optimize and effectively utilize the reservoir and to improve compliance levels in water management,” Hichilema said.
Hichilema says he will engage his Zimbabwean counterpart, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, in a private “family conversation” over the use and management of the hydroelectric power facility.
He added: “Many factors have contributed to our current state of low electricity generation but most importantly systems and information sharing, including optimal use of this shared resource are being largely ignored. We will engage all stakeholders about this.”
Zimbabwe was ordered by the Zambezi River Authority to stop power generation at Kariba as it had exhausted its water allocation, but faced with a choice between stopping, hence plunging into darkness, and continuing to do so at the risk of a system failure, it chose the latter.-STAFF WRITER