POWER IS BACK, FOR NOW
The independent power generating companies, which a week ago turned off their plants following the non- payment of an alleged 200+ billion Uganda Shillings in subsidy arrears contractually agreed with government, have yesterday resumed production. The ‘loss of capacity’ as UMEME had put it in public newspaper adverts, had caused an immediate 12 hour on and 12 hour off rationing cycle, which greatly affected not just industries, hotels and other businesses but also households, where reportedly contents of deep-freezers went to waste, adding a huge financial cost to already stretched domestic budgets.
It was however learned from sources close to the two plant operators that should the arrears not be cleared, shut downs would return just as soon as the next batch of fuel deliveries was due for delivery. The source would not comment however on speculation that government may have ‘guaranteed’ payment to the fuel companies over the standoff to ensure the country receives sufficient electricity into the national grid, though other sources insist that some level of binding assurances were given to the fuel suppliers in this regard.
Be it as it may, power is back in Uganda while neighbours Kenya and Tanzania continue to struggle with the issue inspite of – especially in Kenya – efforts to fast track wind and geothermal energy production which would at once provide much needed electricity and at the same time enhance the ‘green profile’ of the country considerably.