Following the major 14-hour black out due to load-shedding by Zesa power cuts, millions of mobile phone subscribers and businesses were left stranded after mobile network operator Econet Wireless failed to power its generators on Saturday.
Econet Wireless has a subscriber base of 10 million people and controls about 90% of mobile money transfers in Zimbabwe.
Due to load-shedding people were unable to do transactions through Ecocash mobile money while data services on Econet and voice calls were also unavailable.
“Our network operations centre failed to kick off following a Zesa power outage,” read a statement released by Econet.
Zimbabwe mobile operators are unable to run base stations in the country using diesel-powered generators because fuel is scarce and expensive in Zimbabwe.
So far, the long-term solution for Zimbabwe’s electricity crisis is the expected construction of the Batoka Hydro power station along the Zambezi River.
It is believed that the $4,5bn shared project between US firm General Electric and China Power Construction Corporation will be able to generate 2.400 megawatts of electricity that will be shared by Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.