New ZERA Board Members announced
By Takudzwa Chakwana
The energy regulator’s board is expected to provide contemporary and timely professional advice to government on all matters related to energy in order to increase access to modern energy and to enhance the country’s socio-economic development.
This was said by Honourable Soda Zhemu, Minister of Energy and Power Development, during the inauguration of new board members of the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) on 21 January 2021.
The new board, led by Dr. David Madzikanda as the chairperson, takes over from the Dr. Ester Khosa led board whose term came to an end in December 2020.
Dr. Madzikanda is a veteran engineer with 17 years of professional and regional work experience in the electricity sector and 20 years’ experience in the academia. He is the current Dean of the Faculty of Business Management Sciences and Economics at the University of Zimbabwe.
The other board members are Engineer Farai Mavhiya- Bhiza as the vice chairperson, Thembelani Ncube; Masimba Kambarami; Tambudzai Madzivire; Dr. Sosten Ziuku and Edington Mazambani who is the Chief Executive Officer of ZERA, as the Ex-Officio board member.
The board is composed of experts in the fields of electrical engineering, petroleum, risk management, auditing, finance and administration.
Honourable Zhemu said the new board was coming at a time when the government has made its economic development trajectory clear as espoused in the National Development Strategy 1 which was launched by His Excellency in November 2020.
He said the board should take cognisance of the country’s aspiration to join the league of Upper Middle-Income States by 2030.
“Access to and provision of clean, affordable and reliable energy to all is a critical enabler towards attainment of Vision 2030”, said Minister Zhemu.
Honourable Zhemu challenged the new board to unlock the challenges in the power sector and ensure expeditious progression of projects from concept to commissioning.
He also expects the board to address issues of power purchase agreements, competitive bidding process among a number of license applications related processes that require the Board’s oversight.
The board inauguration ceremony also attended by Deputy Minister, Honourable Magna Mudyiwa and the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Gloria Magombo and other directors from the Ministry.
ZERA has licensed over 80 power projects with the majority being at development stage. The demand for clean energy is high as access to grid electricity is around 42%.