More powercuts for Tanzanians


(Posted 17th November 2013)

We light up your life’, the slogan by Tanzania’s national power company TANESCO, sounds like some outright mockery towards their clients, as they just announced yet another 10 day period of regular power disruptions across the entire country. All the main power producers in the region, starting from UMEME to Kenya Power, and with the exception of possibly the Rwandan utility company, have a dark track record when it comes to providing regular, reliable, stable and affordable power to industry, businesses and domestic users, and the social media landscapes are full of invectives aimed towards them for their constant failures, outages and poor response times to problems reported. Uganda’s UMEME is notorious to often provide FB pictures of well cooked meals on their Facebook page, wishing people ‘enjoy your lunch’, mocking those who are without power at home to cook or do regularly peacock around over their ‘accomplishments’ like profits when most Ugandans perceive them rather as bloodsucking pests over outrageous tariffs. Similar complaints are regularly raised from Kenyans over the services of Kenya Power, clearly an indicator that monopolies of this sort do not work in the least for the benefit of consumers but only for the companies themselves, vis a vis profits extracted almost perforce and not answerable to the public at large.

TANESCO has now announced that at least until the 26th of November there will again be extensive power rationing and rolling blackouts as one of the main plants will have to go off line in order to allow for major maintenance. From information received by a source in Dar es Salaam it also appears that TANESCO was informed about the planned shutdown already two months ago but opted to keep this information to themselves until the last minute, again a hallmark of how monopoly companies carry out their public relations functions. The source, a senior stakeholder in the tourism industry, also expressed concern that the ensuing dark periods at night may result in increased cases of break ins and crime in general, sounding a warning in particular to visitors not to venture out from their hotels after dark, especially when the lights are off. Watch this space, if you have power that is.

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