Zambia President ‘Disappointed’ Over Power Cuts

Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema is disappointed with the 12-hour power blackouts the country is experiencing, according to his spokesperson.

Zambia’s power utility – Zesco Ltd – on Wednesday announced crippling 12-hour electricity blackouts until further notice owing to low water levels in the Kariba dam, which is used for hydropower.

The company said the removal of a 150MW generator at Maamba Collieries power plant for routine annual maintenance from 4-20 January had exacerbated the situation.

But presidential spokesperson Anthony Bwalya says Mr Hichilema is disappointed that Zambians were experiencing power blackouts.

“He is as disappointed, as all of us are, because this issue of load-shedding has the potential to disrupt our economic growth agenda.

“The president and the administration are working hard to make sure that this issue never arises in the future,” Mr Bwalya said during an interview with a local radio station.

He blamed the problem on insufficient investment in the energy sector by previous governments, saying there was need to diversify investments to other sources of energy.

He said the president – who has previously said his government had ended power cuts – was “up to the task” in addressing the situation “but we need to give him time”.

But Zambians on social media have been less forgiving, reminding Mr Hichilema about his past claims and promises.