Mavhaire — ill-qualified, clueless

HARARE - Dzikamai Mavhaire is one of the most ill-qualified ministers ever to be appointed by President Robert Mugabe to head such a crucial portfolio.

Since his appointment to the ministry of Energy and Power Development last year, there has been increased load-shedding. He has a tall order to improve the power situation which had drastically improved before he came in.

Although his ministry is critical to industry and economic recovery, Mavhaire appears clueless, raising questions as to what qualities Mugabe saw in him when he appointed him to run the Energy portfolio.

The pint-sized politician, who made headlines in the 90s when he publicly told Mugabe to resign and pave way for others, was relegated to the political dustbins and reduced to a vendor in Masvingo where he was selling fruits at Mucheke Bus Terminus with a ramshackle vehicle that often needed a push to start.

At a time the economy is receding into deflation and power woes are increasing by the day, it boggles the mind why Mugabe chose someone who was struggling with a small farm a few kilometres outside Masvingo town to lead a principal portfolio of Energy.

To his credit, the honest minister this week admitted that he has no answers to the current load-shedding woes.

“Is the nation going to have adequate power to implement programmes under the ZimAsset?

“I cannot answer this question with a resounding yes, as I will not be truthful to you. What I can say is the situation will have drastically improved by 2018,” Mavhaire told students at Zimbabwe Staff College on Monday.

If a minister who is tasked with bringing revival in the energy sector has no answer and plans to restore power supply in the country, then what are his duties?

Most households and industries in Zimbabwe are limited to less than 18 hours of electricity supply daily because of lack of investment in power generation since Independence.

Only about 30 percent of the country has access to grid electricity.

No new power generation stations have been built in the country since Kariba in the early 1960s and Hwange thermal power station, which was completed in 1986.

Despite advances in technology, power experts say a lead time of up to five years is needed to build a power station.

The current power shortage stems from a failure by  government to implement numerous power generation projects.

The famed Batoka deal is yet to materialise, while Kariba South Extension and Hwange projects are yet to take shape.

Questions have been raised about how government, through Mavhaire, will be able to increase power generation to meet increased demand by industry, when the utility is failing to meet demand while industry is operating at below 40 percent capacity.

In the region, most countries also experiencing power deficits making it more difficult for Zimbabwe to import power when the country is experiencing a liquidity crunch.

At full capacity, Kariba generates 750 megawatts and Hwange 850 megawatts, but the country needs about 2 100 megawatts. About 1 200 megawatts are being generated at the moment.

Zimbabwe’s hope for resuscitating the manufacturing sector and regaining its international competitiveness lies in it finding adequate electricity supplies, a dream we all share.

However, while holding on to our dream, we are obliged to ask government:

Does Mavhaire have the necessary skill and intellectual muscle to privatise Zesa Holdings (Zesa)?

The parastatal has been haemorrhaging for a  long time and is teetering on the brink of insolvency.

Zesa, like many other struggling state-owned enterprises such as Air Zimbabwe and NetOne, has always been grossly undercapitalised, poorly managed and surviving only because of government funding.

Worldwide, there has been a massive transfer of ownership and control over electricity assets from the public to private companies.

The companies that have taken over electricity provision in most countries are multinational companies with the financial muscle to make things work.

But when he took office, Mavhaire claimed there would not be any privatisation of the struggling parastatal any time soon.

So how do we move from the current load shedding, because Zesa has proved it does not have the capital and the will to reform on its own.

It is a fact that solving our energy problem will solve a host of other problems, and is a key to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery and growth.

Comments (22)

Mavhaire could not even afford a decent meal before his reappointment - so maZim what do you expect. From a ramshackle to a Merc. Well we can only die of jealousy at this lucky man

dick mboko - 19 March 2014

Dzikamai Mavhaire is certainly not the only incompetent and inept minister in Mugabe's governing cartel!? He at least has the honesty to admit it is beyond him and the thing is this: Anyone with a basic education knows the answer to the country's problems. They are not hard to figure and stare us daily in the face!! Restore the rule of law and property rights, the indigenization crap must go into the bin and we negotiate with investors the best way that Zimbabweans and the investors can be in a mutually beneficial relationship and stick to it! He needs to resign along with the entire ZanuPF cartel and many of them then need to be prosecuted and face the law of the land!

Sabi - 19 March 2014

You appoint a former Headmaster to an important economic ministry, two days later you cry, what did you think he would achieve? A headmaster is a headmaster and will die one.

Mupfana weBikini - 19 March 2014


Rev. Com Council - 19 March 2014

In the 90s Mr Mavhaire was relegated to vending after "insulting" the President. Remember it is considered by the ZANUs as "insulting" to give an honest opinion on anything about the President especially when it comes to issues of his exit from power. After being dumped, I expected him NEVER to accept anything from the same man. Now dear leader is saying "small boy you see I make you or break you". Be that as it may I see Mr Mavhaire as the first (and probably the last) person who appears to have ever been forgiven by dear leader. Our dear leader does not forgive. NEVER. Its funny how a stomach can influence a man's thinking. Simple request Mr Mavhaire :" BE PRINCIPLED AND CONSISTANT MAN, PERIOD!"

mosquito - 19 March 2014


cde chaperachapera - 19 March 2014

its a sign that zanu pf dont even have answers to the country ' way forward. ngavatonge tione

teurai ropa - 19 March 2014

appointments to ministerial positions in any zanu pf government are premised either on factionalism or tribalism. so when mugabe appointed dzikamai he was playing the factional card, ndewekwamai kauyu(dzikamai), so whether he is clueless or inept he will remain in that position, ndosaka hungwe akapuwa the useless psychomotor ministry because he belongs to a "wrong" faction. lift one faction yajoyce at the expense of yaemmerson, this is what mugabe did when he appointed dzikamai. when dzikamai was reduced to selling fruits at mucheke market he was in the wrong faction yazvobgo, which was fighting muzenda. but now dzikamai is in the "correct" faction because he is supporting zezuru dominance fronted by joyce and mugabe.

Cde Churucheminzwa - 19 March 2014

warwadziwa here iwe,,,,saka chitora iwe potfolio yachoo nxaaaaaa.......;.

wezhira - 19 March 2014

Very Interesting perspectives , but my opinion is that we are not being fair to the honourable Minister. We seem to forget that Mavhaire was appointed less than 7 months ago , taking over from Elton Mangoma ( a CA by proffession), who presided over the Ministry for 9 full years...with nothing to show but Magaya- Chifamba corruption allegations, not forgetting REA board that was issuing out loans to its board at the expense of rural electrification mandate., just to mention a few.So if a sane Administrator acknowledges that it will not take wishful thinking to TURN AROUND our direction but well invested time to turn around the mess created by previous Minsiter, i say that is honest and sensible leadership. To his credit he was not shy to dismantle all the boards ..lets give him a chance and judge him on policies implemented. I also strongly disagree with the notion that ordinary people who have suffered and travailed do not deserve to ascend to a higher office.....that type of thinking is morally corrupt and inept..... we don't need fancy titles and qulification to be great administrators....we need honest leadership....Lastly Just to clear the distortion lead by this sales seeking headline, regarding Mavhaire's lecture to students , it was not an admission of failure but an admission of the status quo, he alos clearly laid out his plans ....i'm not sure why you deliberatley exculded that part..well The irony is that it doesn't seem like this article was done by a qualified reporter. Give him chance

Lets be fair - 19 March 2014

I think that the accusations leveled at the person of Dzikamai such as “Ignorant former headmaster”, are wrong and some outright ignorant. Technical knowledge stops at the Perm Sec level, the Minister is a politician, whose role is to negotiate for more resources at cabinet and Parliament. Power cuts were there long before Dzikamai landed the post. I think the problem is resources and not technical knowledge, unless some other knowledge is referred to, Mavaire is innocent in this regard. About being former headmaster, our education is standing on the shoulders of the Headmasters and for very little pay at that. They are probably some of the best of our citizens and to have one of their number elevated to Minister is a good thing. His activities as a vendor must also show the character of the man. He can act at all levels honestly. If honesty is a quality he got from being a headmaster, as argued earlier, I think that at this moment we need more of them in cabinet.

Dombo Lahabe - 19 March 2014

So unfair to pick on Mavhaire. The problem of power supply in Zim is well documented and goes back to previous Ministers who failed to come up with solutions. Is he supposed to wave a magic wand to solve the problem. At least, he has been very honest

Tongo - 20 March 2014

@Let's be fair. Why are you lying? Mangoma was in the ministry for only 4 years not 9 years!

Nyarai Svodai - 20 March 2014

Guys lets stop talking about Mavharire. Lets talk of the rotten Zanu PF govt from the top to the bottom. Not even one person seems to be caring about the economic growth but instead they keep on talking theories such as Zimasset. I tell you that by June this year, this govt would have collapsed. Collapse is in the sense that govt human and machinery resources will no longer be supported financially. Just wait and see

Truth - 20 March 2014

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You are a tribalist moron. From where i stay i managed to see an improvement since he took office. What qualifications do you have to challenge the headmaster. Zvokutengesa mavheji kwake zvinei newe. Ko zvokuti he owns a certain chunk of Bikita Minerals using his own money wadii kuzvitaura. Chimutashu womunhu!!!

Kubulai Kun - 20 March 2014

Given the big lesson that he learnt after booted out in the 90s, Mavhaire is now not a free man, he cannot repeat what he said, niether can he say what he wants. It is so painful that he knows the right thing but he cannot do it. when he was a vendor along the street he was more free than he is toady.....!

Mavhi - 20 March 2014

Veduwe, Mavhaire ainge atambura nenhamo, maida kuti adiyi?? The biggest problem ndiye Mugabe who keeps appointing stooges and recycling them. Koiyewo wacho, he does not have time to supervise the ministers coz vose are too busy stealing land, money etc for their families. The bug stops naMugabe. Imagine kudzorwa kwaJonathan Moyo pasame ministry kwabatsireyi nyika?? CRY the BELOVED ZIMBOz

Tawa Zaru - 20 March 2014

This journalist is a stupid,unfair and clueleass individual....What can Mavhaire do in 6 months that Mangoma/MDC-T failed to do in 5 years in the GNU?That the Smith and Mugabe regimes of the past 50 years have failed to do? The power crisis in Zimbabwe is a function of poor investment in generation and maintenance in the last 20 years. To his credit Mavhaire has in 6 short months overseen the signing/commissioning of Kariba South extension(300MW), Solar Power Plant Projects(500MW), smart prepaid meters, Solar Geyser programme for rural schools&clinics. All these are commendable efforts to reduce load shedding but they will take time to get online. 3 years from now when things have improved will Mr reporter praise Mavhaire or the Minister who would have been appointed in Jan 2017?? As for technical expertise the reporter does not know the functions and roles of Ministers as POLITICAL leaders of Ministries responsible for areas of policy&coordination whilst technical aspects are handled by civil servants. Thats why Biti a lawyer could handle finance and Manuel in RSA a diploma in engineering holder was a good finance minister. These kind of articles make me angry at the level of ignorance of some people who take advantage of their access to the press to make ill informed criticisms based on personal vendettas or hatred. This is why we NEED press controls bcoz reporters like this abuse their positions under the veil of press freedom. And the journalism fraternity's self governance/regulation is a joke because they are allowed to get away with it. I didn't mourn when daily news was banned last tym and if they are bombed or banned again I won't mourn them again. Pfutsek reporter iwe....useless ignorant uneducated fool

wezhira wezhara - 20 March 2014

This is one of the bravest men in this country who openly to the President should hand over the reins murume akaoma uyu a brave fellow indeed

protestor - 21 March 2014

Stupid writer. Saka kuwa mupfumi is the qualification to be a minister? Gono haana kutanga achibika tea here? Sometimes you just need common sense to run a ministry not what you think.

guest - 22 March 2014

The village headman should trek to Chivi after this week's utterances that go against professional advice from the vehicle manufacturers. His admission that consumers were clandestinely once forced to use up to E25 is proof enough that we incurred losses and damages insinuated by these entrusted individuals and institutions.

Alan - 4 July 2014

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