HARARE – Parliamentarians’ bold decision to summon Energy and Power Development minister, Dzikamai Mavhaire, to explain the erratic power supplies to factories and homes deserves full support from consumers that agonise daily over unpredictable cuts.
Frustrations, stress and uncertainty engendered when plant and machinery; computers and other electrical business gadgets go on the blink in an instant is now beyond the scope of tolerance.
The implications of erratic power supplies in a modern age of electronic and technological advancement are vast and unimaginable unless the Energy and Power Development ministry steps up to the plate and works out something urgently to address the problem.
Zimbabwean consumers fear that unless extraordinary steps are taken, their hopes for economic revival with its cascading benefits of employment and opportunity creation will slide into the darkest dungeons.
Reliable power supplies guarantee the revival of the agricultural sector with its countless downstream benefits to industry and commerce.
When Parliament interrogates Energy and Power Development ministry officials MPs should emphasise how the pesky state of unpredictable power supplies impacts negatively on business and the lives of ordinary citizen.
It is a national crisis.
Fitful power supplies are a slap in the face of those entrepreneurs who have shown resilience, industry and mettle over a decade of very exasperating times who are keen to inject new life into the sector.
Ordinary consumers find it frightening to contemplate what the consequences of a much-desired improved business environment would be if productivity levels rise to the preferred threshold in the face of an enduring power deficit.
Burning questions that keep popping up in public conversation among consumers is why the power utility is unable to deliver when dollarisation has eliminated the need for the central bank to source foreign currency to purchase the commodity?
How difficult is it to import electricity from the DRC or Angola to cover the power generation deficit?
Or whether the commonality of purpose Sadc espouses proscribe members from trading in the utility?
The introduction of pre-paid meters locally has ensured that only those consumers who pay for electricity get the utility; those reluctant to pay stay in the dark.
Why then should there be no difference between the two types of consumers when they both have to grope in the dark without discrimination?
These are some of a slew of questions consumers would want addressed by the authorities entrusted with power generation and reticulation.
Consumers and industrialists alike loath to witness the country literally revert to the Dark Ages.
Given this sterling opportunity to explain, the Energy and Power Development ministry should seize the moment to show their competence and guarantee consumers uninterrupted light at the end of a short tunnel.
Consumers cannot wait any longer for that moment.