Zimbabwe faces daily power cuts

Blackouts may last for up to 20 hours a day as food production takes priority.

    The cuts have been introduced to aid Zimbabwe's struggling farmers [EPA]
    Zimbabwe has already been experiencing frequent power cuts due to its ageing power plants, which have received very little new investment as the country battles an economic crisis.
    Other municipal services have suffered and several Harare suburbs have also endured lengthy periods without water, some dry for as long as three weeks.
    'No blackout'
    Zimbabwe's economic crisis is highlighted by a 2,200 per cent rate of inflation - the highest the world.
    Officials, however, played down the impact of the cuts.
    Ben Rafemoyo, of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, said: "Some selected areas will not have electricity between 6am and about noon, but if the worst comes to worst there might not be power to these areas until around 5pm. This is not a blanket blackout."
    Policies criticised
    The cuts are intended to spare urban business districts, but many shops and businesses in residential areas may still feel the impact.
    Industry has also been hurt by the cuts, which have hit production and contributed to an economic crisis widely blamed on the policies of Robert Mugae, the president, who ordered the seizure of white-owned commercial farms to resettle black Zimbabweans.
    Mugabe, however, denies mismanaging the economy and blames Western sanctions.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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