Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi who is also the legislator for Beitbridge East constituency has called on the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority to speed up the rural electrification programme. In an interview yesterday the minister said the unavailability of power had impacted negatively on development in most parts of the district.
Minister Mohadi also noted the delay by the Rural Electrification Agency in extending power supply to Tshikwalakwala area, where people rely on solar panels and generators for power.
“We don’t have enough power supplies in this part of the country and we are calling on Zesa through its Rural Electrification Agency to speed up the programme.
“The development has stalled a lot of mining programmes in the eastern part of Beitbridge where there are large deposits of coal. Investors have mining rights but they cannot start operating without electricity.
“I have engaged the power utility although the progress on the ground is slow,” said Minister Mohadi.
He said the power utility company should ensure that communities around, Chipise, Tshikwalakwala, Chituripasi, Madaulo and Belabathu area are connected to power.
He said development hinged mainly on the availability of power which therefore calls for Zesa to act on the issue as a matter of urgency.
“We have one of the biggest coal fields around the Bubi area but we cannot effectively exploit such resources without adequate power.
“The availability of power will also see the growth of small to medium enterprises and mining development in our area.
“As a Government we are seized with the ensuring sustainable development to all parts on the country and we hope that Zesa through its various agencies play their role,” he said.
He said the district was also rich in coalbeth methane, especially around Chipise and Tshikwalakwala areas.
Minister Mohadi said he had since engaged the country’s mobile telephone operators with the view of setting up base stations across the district where he said communication facilities were deplorable.
“You will realise that communication facilities in the rural area are almost zero. This whole setup is affecting development and the monitoring of key Government projects.