27TH JUNE 2015
UPND EXPRESSES CONCERN ON INCREASED LOADSHEDDING
Reports that the Zambian government further intends to export electricity to neighboring countries before satisfying the local power demand confirms what we have been saying that our colleagues in the PF government have wrong priorities when it comes to developing the country.
With due respect to our neighboring countries and existing bilateral relations, one would have expected that the PF government would treat the issue of current power blackouts as a national disaster that needs urgent attention with a clear policy guidance by the president even addressing the nation than gallivanting all over the world.
The current spate of load shedding is as unacceptable as the reasons being given for the same. It is public knowledge that huge amounts of borrowed money at high interest rates was pumped into ZESCO with a view to increase the generation capacity so as to meet the national power consumption demand, but the complete opposite has happened.
As UPND, we have always insisted on proper planning and putting right priorities that alleviate our people’s suffering and poverty. The fact that we are currently exporting power to neighboring countries means low water situation cannot be used as an excuse.
In any case, Zambia currently sits on an estimated 40 percent of the entire Southern African region’s water bodies which the country has lamentably failed to harness for various economic ventures such as power generation, agricultural irrigation and industry and manufacturing sectors.
In any case, there are many countries in Africa which are basically semi or completely deserts, but have invested in alternative energy source.
We in the UPND feel for even the small business ventures such as our widows and women running saloons, young people with no decent jobs but running barber shops and business centres such internet cafes. Most household chores and office work have virtually come to a stand still due to lack of electricity while food stuffs in most home and restaurants are going bad.
What is more disturbing is that even the load shedding schedule heavily publicized by ZESCO and great cost to consumers is not even followed. This simply shows the chaos that is going on in our governance system and it is shocking that a problem of national magnitude has been left to junior ZESCO officers to explain to the nation while the PF national leadership is going about their own business as if everything is normal in the country.
We demand that President Edgar Lungu should address the nation on the electricity supply crisis which is causing damage to the already struggling economy while continuing to export electricity to neighbouring countries.
UPND Copperbelt Provincial Women’s Chairperson