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Alba Iulia
Friday, March 5, 2021

Residents reject the proposed 26 % increment of ZESCO tariffs

Economy Residents reject the proposed 26 % increment of ZESCO tariffs

ZESCO Limited officials inspect the waters at Lake Kariba where the utility firm generates power
ZESCO Limited officials inspect the waters at Lake Kariba where the utility firm generates power

SOME Livingstone residents have rejected the proposed average of 26 per cent increment of ZESCO tariffs arguing that the upward adjustment will increase the cost of production and in turn push up the cost of various commodities.

But ZESCO defended its proposed electricity tariffs increment saying the move would enable the power utility firm to meet various operational costs, high inflation and increasing demand for electricity.

A Livingstone resident, Samuel Banda, said ZESCO employees were not productive as they were getting 2, 000 electricity units each at a far reduced price every month while ordinary Zambians had to spend huge sums of money to buy electricity units.

Mr Banda said the Government had cut down on the distribution of mealie meal to military personnel and stopped the use of pool vehicles to civil servants to reduce on costs hence ZESCO should emulate such a move.

He was speaking in Livingstone at New Fairmount Hotel yesterday during Energy Regulation Board (ERB)’s public hearing on ZESCO’s application to revise electricity tariffs by an average of 26 per cent across all categories of customers.

“As I make my submission, I wish to strongly oppose the increment of electricity tariffs. The reason is that ZESCO increased the tariffs a year or two year ago but we never saw any tangible changes in the supply of electricity and service delivery. What is the guarantee now that we will see changes in its operations?

“Secondly, ZESCO has failed to minimise operational costs of producing electricity. ZESCO has been buying luxurious vehicles and they pass these costs to us electricity customers,” he said.

Mr Banda urged ZESCO to find an equal partner to inject investment capital into the firm and also consider listing on Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE) to enable the utility firm raise the required funding.

“I wish to suggest that ZESCO employees start buying electricity units at market price to help the institution raise the required funds to enhance power generation,” he said.

At this point, ERB board vice chairperson Robinson Mwansa assured consumers that the institution would have a final say on ZESCO’s application to increase electricity tariffs.

Another customer, Ruth Hansen said if the electricity tariffs were increased as proposed, the cost of stock feeds and mealie meal would go up as such commodities required electricity to drive their production.

Ms Hansen said she would have to increase charges at her hammer mills as electricity was one of the major costs of production.

But in his presentation at the function, ZESCO acting managing director Christopher Mubemba said there was need to increase proposed electricity tariffs to enable the power utility firm meet various operational costs as well as high inflation and increasing demand for electricity in the economy.

Mr Mubemba said ZESCO would like to contribute positively to the development of the country and hence it was necessary to increase the tariffs.

“If we fail to increase the electricity tariffs, we will be contributing to Zambia failing to achieve the vision of the country attaining the prosperous middle income nation status by the year 2030,” he said.

ERB chairperson George said it was undeniable fact that the energy sector in Zambia was at crossroads

Dr Chabwera said there were structural difficulties in the energy sector which did not just require new thinking and ideas.

In its application, ZESCO has proposed the adjustment of 32 per cent for residential, 11 per cent for large power consumers, 24 per cent for small power consumers, 24 per cent for commercial consumers and 18 per cent for service consumers.

30 COMMENTS

  1. We are spending too much money on Zesco bills and they want to increase their tariffs. Remember that more than 75% of Zambia’s population lives on less than a dollar per day and you still want an additional fraction of that dollar! You chaps are useless

  2. Zesco workers re the best paid even a labourer gets good pay this is because consumers subsidies Zesco if you work for Zesco you are the envy of everybody lookat the cars they drive and the areas where they reside .Everyone wouldl want to be in thier position it’s a pity we can’t match other companies .Zesco should be careful take a leaf to Zamtel every dog has his day be warned

    • if the issue of the EURO BOND is true,and if the miles sampa break down is true then what we should be expecting now is a reduction in tarrifs and not an increase.when it comes to repaying of this same bond you and i are going to repay it through taxes and yet the same company we are recapitalising is also charging us for recapitalising it.think about and see if it makes sense.The other day i head on the news that we are borrowing some more money for in order to revamp agriculture and the money will be payed in the period of 50 years.can somebody tel me if this is not already in that break down above.Again your children and my children will be repaying this when you and i are long gone,but we will continue paying dearly on high food prices.

    • Says No. 4 u re very correct! bakabwalala aba! all they want is to betterup thier living at the expense of the poor

  3. This proposal to increase Zesco tarriffs is totally unacceptable. Zesco is spending alot of money on personal emoluments. Zesco employees are highly paid. In addition, they are given more less free zesco units while the poor person can go 2-3 nights without electricity. We are not going to be on the receiving end as consumers while zesco employees are living comfortably. President Sata should intervene. Zesco employees should start paying for the units they use just like any other Zambian citizen. What is happening now is not fair at all.

  4. why ist that in zambia same names occupy positions of influence years and years(chabwera,mwansa,mark chona etc) why! why!. Are those in leadership not seeing the talent spread all over zambia. No wonder these fellows dont feel what we feel about increase in electricity tariffs.

  5. I don’t think its Zesco’s proposal to increase electricity tariffs by 26% is justifiable with these figures below:

    ZESCO Repairs $69M,
    ZESCO Kafue Gorge Hydro $186M.

    Zesco would have been performing better if only the company was not abused by interested parties, the lasting solution to Zesco’s inaccuracies is to divide the company into four regions North, South, East and West, hence each region to supply and deliver electricity to its own region. Zesco should find equal partners to run the power company, One company should be responsible for generation, another for distribution while the other should be for supply.

    I totally agree with Mr Samuel Banda and Ms Ruth Hansen that no tangible results we have seen since they started increasing tariffs and that production cost will…

    • @SLU. If ZESCO was un bundled into those 3 companies you are referring to, consumers will have to bear the bigger brunt. These 3 companies will have 3 different Boards, 3 different MDs and so on. The cost of maintaining these components will be staggering and the loser will be the poor consumer. Nigeria tried this method and it failed lamentably, the result; a generator in every home. The solution is let politicians leave ZESCO alone. No appointments based on ethnicity, party affiliation and the like. Bring true professionals in ZESCO. Period!

  6. Evidently, resorting to price increases is an indication of failure. A company like Zesco must have sufficient investments in fixed income securities to avert price hikes. ZESCO must be privatized with government remaining as a regulator.

  7. I live in South Africa, a country that does not hav a single Hydro-electric power station & with a population of more than 60 million peole & thousands of industries requiring power. Also the Rail system is all electric, but we don’t have load shedding or power outages. There is total quality assurance in th supply of electricty by Eskom & City power. I don’t understand why in Zambia, wth such a small population & plenty of Hydro electric power stations, less industrial activity & no electric rail system, we have such electricty problems. Zesco has been increasing tarriffs every so often but still there is no improvement. Mr. Mwansa left those problems at Zesco & now he is the regulator at ERB, how crazy.
    Zesco should list of LUSE to raise money for capital projects & should look for…

    • This is a different Robinson Mwansa, the ZESCO one died a couple of years ago. Perhaps ZESCO employees should be given 30% discount on their electricity purchases instead of the nonsensical rates that they currently enjoy.

  8. To say that Zesco needs a 25% increase across the board (and 32% increase in residential rates!) because of inflation in an economy with only 7% inflation is madness and greed. They have the euro bond and other long term debt for investment so what are these people talking about?

  9. Other than perks of free electricity the company gives its staff, its apparent that the company doesn’t really have a measurement mechanism by which they tell exactly how much power is at their disposal. Unscrupulous staff steal a lot of power worth KR Millions which they sell on monthly basis to equally crooked customers on give away rates. In short there’s a zesco right within ZESCO led by powerful cartels that will turn the tables for anyone that dare challenge them. A commission of inquiry would suffice in ZESCO.

  10. Way foward is to buy generators in each household.We cant take it any longer.we have bin exploited for so long.

  11. In Botswana, power company employees are given electricity allowance equivallent to KR250 and buy electricity from thier pockets. as a result the company saves a lot unlike in zed, were the employees enjoy free electricity without limit. I would urge zesco, pay the workers an allowance and buy electricity like every citizen

  12. Why does it seem like these people are a copy cat of everything that is happening in other African countries??
    Eskom, SA enterprise, proposed a similar increment last month…
    Zesco, Zambian enterprise proposed the same thing this month….
    Why can’t you people be original ?? Just because the model looks stunning in a designer gown does not mean that a anybody would look just as stunning in the same dress…
    What is really going on around here….

  13. For those who might be interested, the one and only Fr. Frank Bwalya is the Chairman of ZESCO and seems to have now lost the spank for serving the poor.

  14. Umusungu you are very wrong this is the same mwansa it is you father who has died not him check your facts before you show. Your coolness to the world

  15. Ask miles he the one in the forefront getting loans in the name of zambia this is rubbish zambian need to stand up a tell pf to go back where they came from which is hell there’s no way human beings can be this evil these are demons you ve put into power Zambians wake up before your whole country is sold to other bigger demons

  16. I am very disappointed with ZESCO. Thanks to Mr. R Mwansa who fought very hard for ZESCO workers to be paid very well so that workers in return could work hard and think like engineers. The sad part is most ZESCO Engineers do not think like engineers. Over 80% of technician and senior trade jobs are held by degree holders called engineers. ZESCO has over employed engineers. Most of the engineers are doing technician jobs. ZESCO Engineers should find ways to keep current tarrifs the same by using old machines which have been abandoned or other means. ZESCO engineers should think like innovative engineers. ZESCO should balance the equation by keeping the tarrifs the same but producing more power. It is very possible to keep the tarrif the same but produce more power by engineered means.

  17. Good point Mr Banda,what ZESCO has forgotten is that during the MMD Govt ZESCO was busy sponsoring MMD conventions and campaigns at the expense of improving its infrastracture. Eg. under Chiluba’s govt ZESCO bought the Mazda vans for each district MMD was using for party mobilisation. Where was that money coming from,from tax payers. Surely they is no justification for that increase. We are all Zambians, we should not be in Animal Farm where some animals were moer equal than others. All ERB and ZESCO must agree is to first put its own house in order and not holding people at ransom.

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