Sunday, April 14, 2024

Elias Chipimo calls for independent inquiry of ZESCO stretching back over 20 years


File:ZESCO Limited officials inspect the Kariba North Bank Power Station extension programme, which is expected to increase the power generation capacity for Zambia
File:ZESCO Limited officials inspect the Kariba North Bank Power Station extension programme, which is expected to increase the power generation capacity for Zambia

Zesco cannot blame the current power crisis on low water levels in reservoirs like Kariba Dam. The crisis was predictable and should have been foreseen. Now we face the real and continued prospect of job losses, business failure and reduced productivity. This is hitting the small business owner and struggling entrepreneur particularly hard at a time when there has been so much economic hardship already under the PF Administration.

Zesco’s woes are entirely a man-made problem that can be summed up in four letters: GAIP:

  1. poor Governance;
  2. poor Accountability;
  3. lack of Investment;
  4. poor Planning.

Zesco has had numerous changes of leadership over the years at managing director and board of director level. Each time there have been changes, people have been appointed to serve the interests of the political masters of the day resulting in heavy abuse of Zesco’s assets and poor oversight. Through the years, Zesco has been heavily relied upon by ruling party officials in various ways to assist their candidates in elections, whether through the hiring of planes and vehicles, the awarding of dubious contracts or the hiring of ruling party faithful as casual and non-casual workers. There is no reason to suspect that such abuse has ended.

There is a way to empower Zambians; create jobs for everyone and deal with the power crisis. However, if we are to solve the problems of load shedding, we need first to have an full and independent inquiry of Zesco stretching back over the last 20 years. This will help us to understand better how the lack of controls and poor oversight can be avoided as we move forward.

Zesco should be subjected to a combined independent parliamentary and civil society inquiry to determine and put in place measures to prevent any current or future abuse of its assets.
PF are in power now. They have no business giving excuses for the poor planning around current power demand which has been known about for decades. They can offer no excuse for the lack of political will to allow private investment in new power generation which would have saved us from the current crisis.

There can be no excuse for the lack of research and investment into alternative forms of power generation which would not only have cushioned the load shedding but would have given rural communities greater access to electric energy that currently only 3 per cent of them enjoy.

Zesco and Zambia’s problems boil down to just one thing: leadership. NAREP looks forward to the day when we stop electing politicians and decide to elect leaders. That will be the day we shall see the end of load shedding and the numerous economic problems we are facing. The sooner we all wake up to this reality, the better for us, our children and our children’s children.

Elias C. Chipimo, Jr
National Restoration Party


  1. Zambians we reap what we sow! We can blame PF MMD for the ZESCO crisis . the bottom line is all those parties have been run by Zambians.WE have been greedy and selfish.Put anyone of us in power and we abuse it.We have not cared about the future of Zambia.We live for today.Look at our debt and yet I can assure you there will be flamboyance during presidential campaign periods.Infact I think thats all Lungu is focussing on .But you and I would probably be equally selfish.WE need to change our ways.Restructure Zesco so that no politician can walk in and get cash for campaigns.Lets change the constitution and rules which aid politicians to squander our wealth.Enough is enough..Stop these expensive BY elections and develope zambia,develope our hospitals and schools.

    • Yes, our current constitution is too weak. We need a good constitution before 2016 general election. It is so foolish to have the police force and the justice system which serves at the pleasure of the president although the heads are appointed by the president. The greed of the PF government just like the greediness of the passed MMD government want to give us the new parliament driven constitution in place of the peoples’ driven constitution. People including the chiefs were consulted and their input do reflect in the Draft Constitution. The PF government scared the chiefs that they will loose control of the land. The government should adapt the Draft constitution as the New Constitution. The parliament should just rubber stamp the Draft without changing anything content.

  2. Lack of foresight.This is the worst loadshedding ever and no vision for future.We vote for wrong people with no vision you see whats happening and they are not even concerned of the consequences.When RSA was in similar situation the nation was told and the leadership showed concern and assured the nation but here its like they are not within the country and hence do not know whats happening.

  3. You spot on Elias. It is not only the appointment of CEOs and the Board which matters in ZESCO but in all business entities and parastatals in Zambia. Instead of maximisation, we are sub-optimising and not maximising our potential to the full.

    Even new Republics such as RSA, positions of CEO and Board Members are openly advertised and applicants requested to state their vision of that company. It is very interesting that brialliant vision statements are received and individuals are appointed on the basis that their vision statement fits very well with the current strategic plan of that institution.


    That is part of the reason why all institutions in South Africa and the developed World are performing well compared to our Zambian…

  4. We have a real problem because top government officials have declared they have no vision so what do we expect of boards and CEOs appointed by such leaders?

  5. Appointment of questionable non executive directors like father Bwalya and some dj to a board of directors is case in point of abuse

    • Ba Sata appoints Charlie Sex who was languishing in his parents house down there in Kabwata as a member of the board at Zesco, what do you expect Mwebantu. Everything in this Country bows down to poor leadership.

  6. To put it bluntly, he is saying that there are very few honest people around, and these hardly acquire positions of political power. Most only accuse, wishing that it be their turn to milk the citizenry.

  7. PF contracted the now elections Chairman, Emmanuel Musonda Mpankata for the rural electrification project in some known part of northern province. It has been the most inefficient & frustrating gvt project I have ever witnessed. But the question is, where did Musonda get the qualification to do such a project? Who are his workers? Are they qualified? Can he professionally assess the materials being used? Could he even keep up with the schedules? No, he got it because he is PF. Such is how terribly corrupt this nation has become. It is disheartening to realize that countries with no resource could pull up more efficient, well planned activities with their companies while we are looking like middle age institutions, plundering even the little that we have. Shame of PF

  8. Partly right Chipimo but you left out the fact that PF invested a Chank of the euro bond money into zesco just a few months ago. We need to verify where that money went
    Please stop stretching to 20 years ago because you’re diverting our attention from PF and their destruction. The problem is with PF because we have had low water levels before but not this catastrophy

  9. Come on fellows, this is not witchcraft; if you are dependent totally on hydro-electric power you won’t have electricty when there is a drought. It doesn’t matter whether Einstein in your CEO.

  10. Zambia is dying.
    We have no one else to blame but the government!

    Still exporting power to neighboring countries.all contracts have to be honored. But how long do these contracts last 1 year 3 years?
    So us Zambians have to loose revenue in our own businesses for the lack of management of our country’s leaders.
    Stop selling power outside Zambia or rewrite these contracts. We cannot depend on our rainfall to be abundant,
    The last drout lasted 7 years. Who’s to say this drout will last longer .
    No planning just reep the money now without thinking of tomorrow.
    Investors will have no choice but to leave if this continues.
    While our neighbors get rich on our downfall of government managment.
    Look after you own family first before the neighbors.

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