The Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) says reports of power rationing are misleading, but the Public Organisations Accounts Committee has reminded the firm that people want electricity and not mere words.
Tanesco Managing Director William Mhando told The Guardian in an exclusive interview that the company was generating more power than the actual demand, adding that as of yesterday, it was producing 682.51 megawatts while the demand was 672.15 units.
He said the water situation had improved at Mtera dam, Kidatu, Kihansi, and Hale in Pangani making it possible to produce more power from the sources.
But POAC Chairman Kabwe Zitto responded yesterday: “Ask wananchi if there is rationing. We stand by our details given on Monday. Let Tanesco stop politics. Wananchi are tired of mere talk,” said Zitto, stressing: “People want power, quality and sustainable power.”
As the debate continued, people residing in parts of the city centre reported on Monday being subjected to ten hours of power shedding, from around 10.00 am to 8.00 pm.
On the reported switch-off by Aggreko, Mhando clarified that the move had not disrupted power supply, saying: “We know that we can generate enough power using hydro sources.”
He attributed power cuts to the malfunctioning of the power infrastructure in the country, pointing out that there had not been any project to upgrade the system for many years, especially when Netgroup Solution took over management of the utility.
Regarding the debt, Mhando said Aggreko and Symbion power were claiming 58.04bn/- and 4bn/- respectively from Tanesco and not a 230bn/- as reported.
He admitted that Tanesco was currently unable to pay the two companies. “But we shall pay once we secure funds,” he said.
Regarding the generator at his residence, Mhando said he was ready to implement the order by the committee to remove it.
The fuel bill for the generator is reportedly being paid for by the company.
He said the order must be implemented since it was coming from a legitimate body, adding that the matter will be tabled before the Board of Directors for discussion.
“I have received the order and I am ready to implement it…though I will have to first take the matter to my employer”, said Mhando.
Elaborating, Mhando said his job contract which he signed with his employer (board of directors) states clearly that he will be provided with a house consisting of all necessary facilities including the generator.
According to POAC the order applied to other officers using generators whose cost was being covered by the company as such expenditures contributed to more costs. When contacted, the Zitto said that he had instructed Tanesco Board chairman to annul the contract’s section which guarantees Tanesco’s top officials generators.
“We are waiting for an implementation of the order,” he said.
Tanesco officials who were summonded by POAC said Aggreko had switched off its generators and was awaiting payment.