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Private medical institutions in Zimbabwe have been told by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) that they will now pay their bills in US Dollars.

Zimbabwe’s domestic currency is failing to hold stead against the greenback on the black market due to limited US dollar availability, which drives speculation that hurts the economy.

According to renowned investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, ZESA confirmed this to him this morning.

The power utility said this has been caused by importation of power.

It is now feared that medical doctors might start rejecting RTGS or local currency payments soon.

Zimbabwe has suffered acute power shortages for several years, as successive droughts have resulted in poor inflows into the Kariba Dam and as ageing coal-fired power stations have repeatedly broken down.

Zimbabwe imports power from neighbouring countries like South Africa Mozambique and Zambia.

The Government of Zimbabwe is also working with Zambia on the development of the Batoka Gorge project, which could add 1 200 MW to the grid from generators on the Zimbabwean side.

Parties to the deal have now completed feasibility and environmental impact review and are now working on fundraising for the project.

Both countries entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of the project in February 2012. The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group was named as the lead financier and co-ordinator for the $5,2 billion project in April 2017.