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Alba Iulia
Monday, May 23, 2022

Members of Public continue objecting to the upward revision of ZESCO tarrifs by 26%

Economy Members of Public continue objecting to the upward revision of ZESCO tarrifs...

ZESCO 1

Members of the public in Kitwe yesterday took task the Board and management of ZESCO over the application to revise electricity tariffs by an average 26 per cent across all customer categories.

The members of the public who could not comprehend ZESCO’s application for the proposed tariff hike in the backdrop of increased load-shedding.

They overwhelmingly submitted that the utility was in no certain terms justified to apply for an increase because there was nothing to warrant that.

This was during the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) organised public hearing held at Kitwe’s Hotel Edinburgh aimed at affording members of the public who made written submissions to ERB, address the regulatory Board on their submissions.

Lucky Sichula, in his submissions asked ZESCO to ask themselves why they faced resistance each time they made an application for tariff increase.

“Just see the negative comments on the social networks because of unplanned ZESCO load-shedding which have now become like meals as they are experienced in the morning, afternoon and evening during meal times,” he said.

Mr Sichula said the reason given by ZESCO that the proposed tariff
hike was aimed at raising funds for infrastructure development and also reducing load shedding did not hold water because the same reason had been given in all the previous applications but with nothing to show for.

Major Anthony Nyengele in his submissions made reference to the increased load shedding in the country which he said had made ZESCO look like it had no management team in place.

Maj Nyengele who said increased tariffs if granted would further disadvantage people from accessing electricity and caused laughter when he pointed at ZESCO Board chairperson Frank Bwalya who was present during the submissions that he now was in a perfect position to speak for the poor.

“Fr Bwalya is a priest and said he was going to speak for the poor and it appears for a reason God has put him in that position to speak for the poor,” Majo Nyengele said amid laughter from the gathering.

And Chulwa Mbewe said he was against the proposed tariff adjustment because it appeared it was aimed at subsidising ZESCO’s employees who were being given 200 units on top of the hefty salaries.

But Managing Director Cyprian Chitundu said the increased economic boom being witnessed in all sectors of the economy had necessitated the programme of infrastructure development, which required huge sums of money.

He said unless ZESCO was allowed to hike the tariff, the utility would find it difficult to implement the standing projects for new hydro power generation, distribution and transmission lines.

Earlier, ERB Board chairperson George Chabwera said in his view, the electricity sector was in a sense of paradox considering that Zambia, which had 43 per cent of SADC water resources enough to produce up to 18, 000 mega watts of electricity, was presently producing below 2000 mega watts.

“Access to electricity in urban areas is a mere 22 per cent and in the rural areas three per cent. We are asked to consider a tariff adjustment to enable increased and sustainable power supply.

“We should also be aware that a number of urban consumers have given up on electricity use claiming it is not affordable. In the countryside, electricity consumption is by and large perceived as a product for higher income earners and yet most of our rural dwellers have an income once a year,” he said.

The challenge now, Dr Chabwera said, was to harmonise this contradictory predicament.

11 COMMENTS

  1. they should use thier share from the Eurobond money, Zesco really needs a competitor they are taking advantage of us poor zambians by enriching themselves taking home huge salaries and free electricity yet they give us very poor services

  2. Thats why Banks are there. If zesco wants money for all these project they can go and get a loan rather than making customers pay for all these stupid projects

    • very good stupid answer for the utilities.why is that when most company’s in Zambia make loses the either retrench or prune their labor to suit the company’s running costs but it’s different with ZESCO instead of restructuring it’s labor and making it more viable,they prefer to maintain their huge workforce and slum their loses on customers who hence forth subsidizes their costs.change for the better ZESCO .

  3. Fellow country men, ZESCO needs to grow its infrastructure base at the same pace as the economy is growing in different sectors. Not until we as a country find huge capital outlay for infrastructure development in electricity generation we will not end this load shedding. My take on this one is for the power utility to renegotiate its power purcahse agreements with the Mines.Those agreements were signed to the advantage of the mines and ZESCO at the time, but are contrary to public interest. They are really unreasonable agreements. ZESCO, GRZ and the MINES should re-look at these agreemements before the majority Zmabian is subjected to abject poverty by an increase in the tariffs.

  4. Zesco would be doing better if it wasn’t abused by interested parties. I sometimes wonder how these so-called illiterate think so low that even a mere grade twelve thinks right and straight. Some of the problems we have are caused by man. Zesco should think of sourcing funds somewhere else, than suffocating consumers who find it hard to pay electricity bills and these pre paid meters need to be scrutinized and issue that we pay for what we really use not cooked up charges. We need people of high integrity like Lucky Sichula, Major Anthony Nyengele and Chulwa Mbewe who can point a wrong. Fr. Frack Bwalya should speak the way he used to speak when Rupiah Banda was President. Let the Competition Commission step in and investigate these pre paid meters!!!

  5. What Zesco really needs is to source its money from banks and then when there is no more load shading from them and service delivery is perfect then they can ask for adjustments in their tariffs. As it is now there is no justification. wake up management at Zesco

  6. ZESCO should learn to do cost cutting measures such as doing away with beautiful cars for useless managers. Let employees per for power as well. Furthermore stop buying election material for ruling parties.
    The answer lies in break it up and privatise the units . It is too big to fail company. Parastatals companies are out of date all over the world.

  7. increase the tariffs and remove taxes on the bill
    All these taxes are too much
    1. excise duty
    2. vat
    3. TV licence
    4. fixed charge

  8. Very unjustifiable for ZESCO to increase the tariffs looking at the service they are offering for now. look at a country like Botswana where they do not generate their own electricity but load shedding is a rare thing but with ZESCO its the order of the day. That aside, ZESCO should realize that an increase in the Tariffs will trigger other increases, what will the civil servant and the struggling low income Zambian do. Let ZESCO find another method of raising their capital.

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