Coming out of retirement…
The new wave of power cuts have met everyone’s worst fears. Mr Mugabe’s state media confirms the cuts from 4.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. will be widespread on most days of the week. Households are getting power in hours of darkness when most people are fast asleep and can’t be expected to get up to do the laundry and the ironing.
Charcoal for the braai will come in handy; and there is a more solid, old fashioned iron made out of iron that can be heated up on coals, wood or a gas ring with care to make sure the clothes are not smeared with soot, much in the way our grandparents did it.
It has already been estimated that Zimbabwe has lost 370,000 hectares (915,000 acres) of forests for firewood in a decade of erratic power supplies. For those familiar with Trafalgar Square in London, it is about one hectare, or in other words: Zimbabwe has lost a little less than half a million Trafalgar Squares of woodlands so far.
With the government’s ban on electric water geysers on the cards, how will they be replaced by solar ones? Industry won’t have the electricity to manufacture them so they will have to be imported.
Fat cat fuel dealers will make a killing too. Generators are rumbling all over town – a Harare cinema complex now needs 8,000 litres of generator fuel a month if the show must go on, and a medium-sized restaurant needs 2,000 litres a month to keep its fridges and cold rooms switched on.