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Mnangagwa sacks Gumbo, NOIC boss

by ZimLive
15 May 2019 at 08:19hrs | Views
Amid a deepening electricity and fuel crisis, President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday reshuffled Energy and Power Development Minister Jorum Gumbo and appointed Zanu-PF's rising star Fortune Chasi, formerly Deputy Minister of Transport, in his place.

Mnangagwa also announced a new board chairman for the National Oil Infrastructure Company (NOIC) in a move which appeared aimed at disrupting reported cartels in fuel procurement.

Mackenzie Ncube is the new board chairman, taking over from Jemias Madzingira who has been retired, a statement by Cabinet Secretary Misheck Sibanda said.

Gumbo has been re-assigned to a newly-created position of Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in Charge of Implementation and Monitoring.

Zimbabwe is in the grips of a major fuel crisis, which Gumbo has repeatedly blamed on the Treasury's failure to pay suppliers who demand payment in United States dollars, which are in short supply in the country.

Chasi is also appointed in the same week that Zimbabwe's state power utility, ZESA, imposed the worst rolling blackouts in three years starting Monday, with households and industries including mines set to be without electricity for up to eight hours daily.

ZESA, citing reduced output at its largest hydro plant at Lake Kariba owing to low water levels and ageing coal-fired generators, is producing 969 MW daily against peak demand of 2,100 MW as the country enters its peak winter power demand season, which will increase electricity consumption.

Chasi has won plaudits for his engagement with Zimbabweans on social media, which could prove an asset as he tries to resolve twin national crises some think cannot be resolved without a massive injection of foreign currency, which has eluded Mnangagwa's government.

The power cuts and fuel shortages are stoking mounting public resentment against Mnangagwa's government as Zimbabweans grapple with an economic crisis that has seen shortages of U.S. dollars, food and medicines as well as soaring inflation that is eroding earnings and savings.

Source - ZimLive