Lungu steps into load shedding

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has directed Zesco to carry out its load shedding equitably to avoid complaints that electricity was not being shared equally.

Mr Lungu who toured the Kariba Dam in Kafue Gorge yesterday said some Zambians were complaining that the elite in suburb areas had less time of load shedding than those in peri-urban areas

He said this after receiving a briefing on the current national power deficit in the country from ZESCO Managing Director Victor Mundende at Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre.

President Lungu also wanted to know how far Zesco had gone with importing electricity from Mozambique to mitigate the effects of load shedding in the country.

Zesco Managing Director Victor Mundende said the power utility firm had started importing about 100 Mega Watts of power from Mozambique.

Mr Mundende also said Zesco staff would be going back to Mozambique next week to conclude the deal.

He refuted allegations that the current national loading shedding were as a result of defective turbines. Mr Mundende explained that the current power rationing was due to low water levels.

Asked whether Zesco anticipated the low water levels, Mr. Mundende stated that the rainfall pattern was deceptive. He said Zesco had since restricted its power generation to 540 Megawatts against an average generation capacity of 800 Megawatts at the Kafue Gorge Power Station.

Mr Mundende said Zambezi River Authority had also been given a redused generating capacity because of the safety of the dam wall.

He said if Zesco  was to generate at full capacity with the current water levels, the water would only last up to October and the country would experience a total black out.

Mr. Mundende said the current load shedding would allow generation to continue until December when the rains were anticipated.

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