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Zimbabwe: Household Energy Sector Governace

This country synthesis report is based on a detailed country report, which may be accessed through our dynamic report builder is available here.


A Household Energy Demand and Use
B Household Energy Supply
C Household Energy Sector Governace
D Household Energy Information
E Household Energy Case Studies

C. Household energy sector governance

The Ministry of Energy and Power Development is the responsible ministry for energy availability in the country .It plans the country energy needs from energy and ensures its availability for both urban and rural communities. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority is responsible for electrical energy generation , transmission, and distribution .The National Oil Company of Zimbabwe and the recently established body of independent fuel procurement are responsible for the importation of needed fuel for the country.

In Zimbabwe, energy project planning is done centrally at the Ministry .It also monitors energy projects and programmes. . However, in Zimbabwe there is no institutional framework at local level to monitor energy projects and programmes, after they have been commissioned (Mapako 2001).

There are several governmental institutions that are responsible for environmental affaires in Zimbabwe: the Ministry of Environment & Tourism, the Ministry of Lands and Water Resources, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, the Ministry of Energy and Power Development as well as the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Labour .

Concerning forests matters and natural resources the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has to take responsibility through its organs: the Forestry Commission, the Department of Natural Resources, the Natural Resource Board and the Department of Parks and Wildlife. The Forestry Commission is especially concerned with firewood.

Whereas the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is concerned with health matters.


The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity with an installed capacity of 1,961 MW . While a 750 KW mini-hydro plant, owned by a private company also operates in Zimbabwe. To meet the local demand, 50 % of the electricity needs to be imported.

The utility charges a 5 % levy towards the capital development fund. Electricity consumers also pay 1 % towards the rural electrification. So far a uniform national tariff is applied.

For rural areas the government followed a selective process of electrifying rural business centers. The Rural Electrification Project (RE) in Zimbabwe aims at addressing the energy problems of the rural population thereby stimulates new and diversified economic growth in rural areas. It also creates employment and reduces rural-urban migration. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) in conjunction with the government have taken the initiative to promote rural electrification. The project was initiated in the early '80s. By 1984, 23 rural growth points had electricity at a total cost of Z$ 5.8milion. Rural communities are encouraged to and a welcome to initiate electrification projects. There are three financing schemes available namely: Rural Institutions Electrification Revolving Fund, Rural Electricity Guarantee Fund and Funds Matching Scheme.

Operational issues addressed to overcome low rate of electrification included: introduction of the Compact Distribution Board (CDB) to lower cost of internal wiring, introduction of the prepayment meter that would enable customers to pay for electricity when they can afford.


The Ministry of Energy is the main co-ordinator of wood. But energy planning, research and development and regulation in the sector of wood supply and demand are the special function of the Forestry Commission. The government does not exert any price control in fuelwood trade. Whereas people in the rural areas depend on the natural forest resources for their wood supplies, those in the urban areas rely on wood vendors. The wood is available from commercial farms and transported by lorries into urban centers.


Commercial charcoal production and distribution exists but to a limited extent. The charcoal is derived from commercial timber plantations and sold at fuel stations or other supermarkets.


The Ministry of Energy through the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe is responsible for setting the price of kerosene. Kerosene is imported through NOCZIM (National Oil Company Zimbabwe) and indigenous oil selling companies and sold at fuel stations. Efforts to bottle and to make it available off shelf are being made.

There are subsidies on kerosene because it is mostly used by the poor. However, the subsidies do not seem to have any impact on the intended users (Mapako 2001).


The Department of Energy is responsible for price controls whilst the private sector imports and bottles LPG. It is available from fuel stations and supermarkets as well as other gas retailers.

Influence of globalisation on the household energy sector

The household energy sector in Zimbabwe has been experiencing a downward shift towards the bottom of the energy ladder. The prevailing macro-economic conditions has worsened the supply of kerosene, LPG and other imported fuels. Hence this has seen poor households reverting to wood especially in urban areas, even at times they have electricity in their homes.

Last edited by Miriam Hansen .
Page last modified on Sunday September 19, 2010 19:00:01 GMT.
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