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Power analysts argue that Zimbabwe and South Africa’s ‘state governance model’ does not allow competitive practices in that sector By Rejoice Ngwenya Between the 1980 and late-1990s, it was unthinkable that Zimbabwe would experience electrical power outages. What with the country bound by two of Africa’s largest hydro-electric power HEP stations nestled along the majestic Zambezi River, it seemed Zimbabwe’s capacity utilisation would only be incapacitated by an unlikely tragedy. In the north lies Kariba Dam, itself a world wonder incepted by the then Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland; designed by engineer Coyne et Bellier and commissioned in 1960, with installed nominal capacity to supply 1600 megawatts of power. The liberation war did interfere with the construction value chain of additional facilities, but by 1980, all was set to propel the newly independent Zimbabwe to the heights of industrialisation – having now been accepted in the family of free global nations. In the east lies Cahora Bassa HEP, commissioned in 1974 shortly before Samora Machel’s FRELIMO overran the Portuguese garrisons to set up a communist government in Maputo.