ZESA and HCB in debt row

Salvador Namburete,
Mozambican Energy
6 July 2009 – According to media reports, Zimbabwe’s electricity utility owes Mozambique’s hydro-electric power company Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) at least USD50-million.

According to the Mozambican Energy minister, Salvador Namburete, there were no immediate plans to switch power off, as the supply constituted Mozambique’s helping its neighbour recover from its economic crisis.  

This was not the first time that Zimbabwe Electrical Supply Authority (ZESA) failed to pay for power from Cahora Bassa. Last year Mozambique pulled the plug for 10 days to force ZESA pay an accumulated debt of US10 million dollars.

Zimbabwe’s minister of energy visited Maputo in April to negotiate for more time to pay until the country was "organised".  Now HCB and ZESA need to sit down and set out specific dates for the repayment of the credit.

The Cahora Bassa dam’s hydro-electric project on the Zambezi River supplies Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa and Malawi.