Mozambican president concerned about Zimbabwe’s electricity debts

10 April 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 10 April – The President of Mozambique, Armando Guebuza, is concerned about the inability of the Zimbabwean government to pay for the electricity supplies to the country by Mozambique.

A source from the South African Presidency, cited by the daily newspaper Mail & Guardian, said that Guebuza had shown his concern during the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) summit held at the end of March in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, in which the Zimbabwean situation was analyzed.

According to Guebuza, Zimbabwe’s economic crisis was an obstacle to the Mozambican government’s plan and this crisis could also be the cause of an increase in smuggled goods, particularly, agricultural products, into Mozambique.

Zimbabwe is the main source of the annual revenues of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam (HCB), which is 85 percent owned by the Mozambican state and 15 percent owned by the Portuguese state.

Although South Africa is the country to import most electricity from Mozambique, Zimbabwe pays HCB around nine times more than South Africa.

During the SADC summit a consensus was reached for the need for the Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe to hold talks with opposition forces in order to prevent an outcome that would have devastating consequences for his regime.

The same sources from the South African Presidency said that Mugabe had agreed to give up the presidency in December in order to be replaced by vice-president Joice Mujuru, ahead of the presidential elections in 2008. (macauhub)