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HARARE Jamaal Williams Youth Jersey , May 23 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe, which has not had power cuts for the past one and half years, might experience massive load shedding starting next week if the power utility fails to settle its power import bill with Mozambican and South African power utilities.
ZESA Holdings chief executive Josh Chifamba was quoted by the state-run Herald newspaper on Tuesday as saying that the utility was failing to pay 43 million U.S. dollars it owes South Africa's Eskom and Mozambique's Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB) due to foreign currency shortages.
The 43 million U.S. dollars is coming from a payment plan that ZESA struck with the two regional power utilities early this year.
According to the plan, ZESA should have paid 89 million dollars between January and April this year but only managed to pay 46 million dollars.
HCB and Eskom gave ZESA up to May 31, 2017 to pay up the debt failure of which the two utilities would cut off power supplies.
Overally, ZESA owes Eskom 80 million dollars and 40 million dollars to HCB.
Eskom supplies Zimbabwe with 300 megawatts (MW) while HCB provides 50 megawatts.
Zimbabwe requires 1,400 MW daily but is able to produce around 980 MW due to aged power plants.
Chifamba said ZESA was making frantic efforts to secure the money to clear the debt.
""We have been having meetings with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to find ways of coming out of this. Hopefully this week something will come up because everyone knows the effects of failing to pay,"" he was quoted as saying.
Zimbabwe has engaged China's Sinohydro to expand Kariba South Power plant by 300 MW. The first 150 MW unit of the expansion project is expected to come on stream by December and the other 150 MW unit by the first quarter of next year.
ZESA says the additional 300MW from Kariba would go a long way in helping the power utility to meet national demand.
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The Sao Paulo city council voted 43-3 on Wednesday to prohibit the use of smartphone-based ride-sharing-applications like Uber in Brazil's largest city.
During the entire day, thousands of taxi drivers blocked several of the city's streets and avenues to protest against Uber and pressure councilmen to vote in favor of the law that bans the service in this city of 12 million.
The council has 10 days to send the approved law to City Hall. Mayor Fernando Haddad will then have two weeks to approve or veto the bill.
In its first vote on June 30, the council voted 48-1 to prohibit the use of ride-sharing services such as Uber.
Rio de Janeiro's city council has banned Uber, but Mayor Eduardo Paes must still ratify it.
Uber has been banned in Brasilia and Belo Horizonte, the only other two cities where the service is present.
If the measure goes into effect, Sao Paulo Uber drivers who ignore the ban can be fined 1,700 reals ($447) and have their cars confiscated.
The service has drawn increasing use since last year's World Cup of soccer, with many of its cars cleaner and newer than those of regular cabs.
Cab drivers complain Uber is unfair competition because its drivers don't have to pay city fees or undergo official inspections.
To prevent the expansion of Uber elsewhere in the country, city councils in at least another 13 state capitals have laws pending approval to ban the service.
In Maceio, capital of the northeastern state of Alagoas, city councilman Galba Netto recently told reporters: "We are trying to prevent a future problem, because the arrival of Uber in our city would be a disaster."
On its Facebook page, Uber said people "who cross the city every day have the right to choose how they will travel the streets of Sao Paulo."
BUJUMBURA, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The appointment of a commission mandated to draft Burundi's new constitution is aimed at "correcting" errors of the past, the Burundian President's spokesman said Monday.
The appointment was made by Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.
"The commission has been appointed in order to correct errors of the past. In 2015, Burundi faced problems because of misunderstandings around some provisioncn," said Jean Claude Karerwa.
According to him, the appointment of the commission mandated to suggest amendments to the constitution will avoid errors of the past.
However, some other groups including some political parties, some civil society groups as well as former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, facilitator in the inter-Burundian dialogue, have said the amendment of the constitution should be done at the end of the talks initially set for this June.
Burundi has suffered turmoil since then when President Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term in violation of the national constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement that ended a decade-long civil war.
Protests against Nkurunziza's third term bid turned into a failed coup on May 13, 2015.
Over 500 people in Burundi are reported to have been killed during the crisis while some 400,000 people fled to neighboring countries mostly Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Uganda since the outbreak of the crisis.
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