PARLIAMENTARIANS have described the $250 million Dema Power Project awarded to President Robert Mugabe’s son in-law’s bother, Derrick Chikore, and his associates, as too costly.
The MPs made the observations while grilling Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) boss Gloria Magombo when she appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy, chaired by Zanu PF MP Daniel Shumba, to explain why her organisation approved the deal that gobbles “too much fuel” and causes Zimbabweans to be charged higher tariffs of $15,45 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) when importing electricity from neighbouring countries is cheaper.
The legislators questioned Zera on why the Dema project was being allowed to import 25 million litres of fuel duty-free when they were only supplying 100 megawatts, raising suspicion that the other half of the fuel, 12,5 million litres, could be finding its way to the black market. “As a regulator, why do you allow Zimbabweans to pay an electricity tariff of $15,45, which has been buttressed by duty-free concessions, as opposed to importing at lower rates? Zambia buys its emergency energy from a ship in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, at 7 cents per kilowatt and our industry cannot afford to pay 15 cents per kilowatt,” Shumba said.