Sunday, April 14, 2024

ZESCO Power Failure: a clear demonstration of poor governance by the PF

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In every developing nation, and indeed already developed ones, energy in whatever form is the engine of an economy. A sustainable source of energy can drive a nation to prosperity as it supports the very core of business and industrialization. It is for this reason that developed nations around the world have gone out of their way exploiting all available forms of energy sources in order to sustain their economies and make the lives of their citizens bearable. A recent study has shown that the amount of power an average American consumes in a month is equivalent to what an average African and in this case a Zambian consumes in a year. But the PF Government has miserably failed to find a solution to this endemic failure by ZESCO. This is shameful for a nation that celebrated its Jubilee a few months ago.

In the last few weeks, Zambia has witnessed serious power outages never witnessed since independence in 1964. Many excuses have been advanced to explain the cause of this situation. The major one been the low water levels being experienced in Lake Kariba which is largely responsible for the generation of hydro electric power.

We have been told that this is a natural cause and there is little that can be done to correct it. This attitude is a betrayal of trust of the people of Zambia by the PF Government as it is a reasonable expectation that the Government must find solutions and not explanations for any situation that accelerates poverty in a country. This PF Government must accept their share of blame for their failure to adequately plan for the energy sector. It is irresponsible to expect a single power station built in the 1950s by colonialists to meet the demands of power for our people without expanding its capacity or indeed opening up larger stations, like in the Kafue plains which was initially cited as a potential area for hydro power generation in the early 1940s, or considering other available potential sources of energy which can mitigate some of the challenges posed by nature. If indeed Zambia’s development and welfare is to be depended on nature and natural causes then we could as well abandon modern forms of government and resort to the old ways of our ancestors as hunters, nomads and gatherers. Sure, the reason why we vote for governments and pay taxes is because we expect those who we entrust with the resources to adequately plan for the nation’s welfare. Zambia needs visionary leaders as the Joseph of the Bible who led Pharaoh to exclaim ‘Can we find such a man in whom the Spirit of God is’ when he not only explained a dream but also provided a solution to the anticipated famine seven years before it occurred.

[pullquote]It is not the first time Zambia has experienced a erratic rainfall.[/pullquote]

We in the UPND have always stated that Zambians deserves better leadership and not mediocre leadership whose interest is in themselves and not the people of Zambia; a leadership that has perpetuated poverty among the people. These are leaders who continue borrowing money for consumption and never think of where the nation will be in the next 10 years. They chose to ‘invest’ in buying of political cadres and inducing unnecessary by-elections at the expense of pressing national issues such as energy. We have stated time and time again that our current Constitution could be amended in order to save these much needed resources, which can then be channeled towards improving our economy. Unfortunately all this has been painted as mere politicking. We are aware that even this statement on a very important national issue will be described as mere politicking. This attitude from our colleagues in the ruling party is very irresponsible and immature and only goes to confirm their lack of seriousness on pertinent issues.

We know that the PF leaders only take action when the damage has been done. However, this time it will be very difficult for them, and for the businesses that are crumbling and for those whose jobs are at risk it may be too late. The cost of living is also now rising further due to the high cost of production that manufacturers are made to bear under the current situation.

Those given the power to govern seem to be incapable, as they cannot plan using simple projections made by Central Statistical Office. The problem we are experiencing today was foreseen by our competent men and women in these offices years back but nothing was done to mitigate the effects that such challenges would have on our nation. Today Zambia’s economy risks going into the doldrums due to incompetence of the Government.

It is not the first time Zambia has experienced a erratic rainfall. In fact Zambia has seen severe droughts that we had in the 2014/15 season. The problem is therefore not about nature, but rather about a lack of planning and implementation by those given the mandate to govern. There is need to seriously invest in the energy sector both in the short and long term if we have to keep our economy up and running. In fact, the UPND views energy as a catalyst to economic emancipation.

When we speak of investing in the energy sector, we are not limited to hydropower generation but we mean all potential sources of energy available in Zambia including wind. The UPND is a party committed to economic emancipation and this can only be a reality if and only if there is massive investment in the energy sector given its indisputable role in an economy. For this reason, the UPND promises the following once ushered into power in 2016:

In the short-term:

  1. Waiving/reducing import duties on energy products
  2. Investing in massive solar power generation by opening up solar power plants in all the 10 provinces which will be added on to the national grid;
  3. Investing in wind energy in the vast plains of Luapula and Western provinces of Zambia;
  4. Expanding capacity of small hydropower stations dotted around the nation;

In the long-term:

  1. Realizing the role that universities play in resolving complex problems such as the one we are experiencing now, the UPND Government will invest in research on energy innovations at the University of Zambia and the Copperbelt University;
  2. Encourage and support companies that are interested in the generation of cleaner energy.
  3. Assess the possibility of opening up new power stations on the big rivers like Kafue, Luangwa, Chambeshi, Luapula,Kabompo, etc.

The UPND realizes the critical role that the Central Statistical Office plays in providing data to inform planning and policy formulation. For this reason, the UPND will endeavour to use data provided by CSO in planning for the future in all sectors of the economy including energy. The current scenario where important data generated by CSO is never put to good use will be history. We will use such data to plan for our nation and ensure that the plan is implemented to avoid embarrassing moments such as the one we are experiencing as a nation right now.

In closing, we urge President Lungu to address the nation on the energy crisis. It is only fair for the President to tell the nation what is happening to the economy due to this serious challenge, that trip to Kariba tells us nothing.

Hakainde Hichilema
UPND President

___________________________

Issued by: UPND National Campaign Centre, Lusaka

51 COMMENTS

    • HH am tired of reading your useless articles. How about you snuggle with your wife at night instead of spending it writing articles on what any dam-ned f00l can figure out about Zesco and PF president Lungu. All you do is whine all day and all night. No action at all!
      Seriously you need to get laid. Maybe the next time I see you you will have a smile on your face.

    • @Nda nje khaks it’s you who is very dull and you can’t even understand what an educated Man like HH can contribute to the Nation. Fuseki. Wabalya banyoko

    • @ 1 & 1.1 You guys are so stupid, are you Zambians and do you live in Zambia? if you are PF cadres, get your acts right because energy is the source of every economical development.

      HH’s writing is to contribute / open minds of Dull PF ministers so that they think and find alternatives.

      What kind of a country / citizens are we who just tolerate every nonsense? HH is right and let us support him to put pressure on this useless government that can not think but continue spending money on their travels / families.

      I hate to see how educated Zambians who are bloggers can not see sense in this article. your attitude of lashing at every article is stupid and stop it. Contribute and give us your solutions.

    • At least PF cadres are consistent in being dull, shallow and stupid. They always cry that HH never offers solutions and when he does they talk sh!t. Bloody Id!ots.

    • The Farmers cannot process their milk, they cannot incubate eggs and yet just a simple thing like communicate to them when this problem was first brought to light. But PF are do not have a plan. CBU is closed, kwacha is losing value, Pilato’s case has been discharged and PF cadres are still rooting for a Visionless leader…mind boggling !

    • THE POWER SHORTAGES IN ZAMBIA IS VERY HISTORICAL. IT’S GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT, UNLESS YOU ARE NOT A ZAMBIAN TO BE UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND THE ORIGINS OF POWER SHORTAGES IN ZAMBIA. POWER SHORTAGES IN ZAMBIA ARE DUE TO LACK OF PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION ON THE SIDE OF THE INITIAL ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT (UNIP) THROUGH TO DATE. IN FACT PF UNDER SATA STARTED PRACTICALLY DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT. THE OTHER REASON IS THAT ZESCO HAS TAKEN EVERYTHING. ZESCO SHOULD BE UN BUNDLED INTO 2 OR 3 COMPANIES SO THAT ONE COMPANY CONCENTRATE ON THE GENERATION OF POWER, THE OTHER COMPANY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF POWER INFRASTRUCTURE BY INSTALLATION OF POWERLINES AND SUB STATIONS ALLOVER THE COUNTRY, AND THE OTHER COMPANY ON SALES AND MARKETING OF POWER.

    • IN THIS WAY POWER PLANNING AND GENERATION WOULD BE CONTINUOUS, JUST AS INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT OF PLANNING AND INSTALLING SUB-STATIONS AND POWER LINES WOULD BE A CONTINUOUS. THE SAME THING WOULD APPLY TO SALES AND MARKETING. AS IT IS NOW ZESCO ONLY CONCENTRATES ON SALES AND MARKETING FORGETTING THE GENERATION OF POWER AS IF POWER WOULD GENERATE ITSELF. ZESCO ALSO TELLS CONSUMERS TO PAY FOR INSTALLATION OF LINES WHICH THEY SHOULDN’T.

    • Give us reference for the study you have cited which shows that an average American consumers energy in a month equivalent of what a Zambian consume in a year! Are the weather conditions comparable between the two regions?

    • I just want to remind Hakainde Hichilema that power failure is not just being experienced under PF government, but it was also there during the UNIP and MMD governments. Even when he was actively involved in the privatisation of companies which led to a lot of Zambians losing their jobs power failure was there. Its a pity he will never be President of Zambia to experience the difficulties our past presidents have gone through and what His Excellence Lungu is going through. Certainly from the way HH behaves is simply jealous he can’t solve any of the problems Zambia is going through. It may even be worse under him. The government is working hard to solve some of these problems. So give your friends chance, don’t pre-empty what the government is trying to do.

  1. how can low water tables be a political affairs? You are a dull intellectual Mr. Opposition President…….lol

    • @Mysterious you have not read the article correctly. HH is saying that low water tables cannot be the only reason behind this scenario and that we have had serious droughts in Zambia and never experienced this animal called loadshedding. The point is that it is unfair to always find excuses in the name of ‘natural calamity’ without offering solutions period. What if we had no rain for 3yrs what would happen? HH has offered you what your Edgar should be doing to address the problem e.g. wind energy. Its unfortunate that sometimes Zambians are blinded from reality.

    • Mysterious ndiwe uli chikopo. danda head, who used to sit at the last desk of group three.Debate the issue NOT the person. Cadre mentality will leave your children and grandchildren destitute. Wake up and be counted. Mutu kulinda

  2. Who is the MD for ZESCO now? It never happened when Chitundu was MD. So let HH speak to the MD, not the president. But uyu buy really itches for presidency.

  3. Sorry Zambians, i can imagine the situation you are in right now due to power rationing. We experienced such situations in 2001 but we adjusted. The losses we incurred were great. In the meantime, I hope the govt will adjust where possible. Good luck.

  4. Yaba. UPND will manufacture rainfall when voted into power. Let us not be theoretical about this very serious problem.

  5. that is wy he permalink he has no brain somebody bring solution then u busy talking nosence wabalya banyoko

  6. Like I always say the forces of darkness have converged & are determined to rape our mother Zambia to her death.
    HH is challenging GRZ & offering what he believes are solutions to our current problems.
    Any sane person should listen to him or counter propose so that the debate is health & we collectively solve our problems.
    But the forces of darkness that benefit from the status quo choose to insult him.
    Its up to us who want what’s best for this country to also stand up to fight these forces.
    HH or Edith wanting to be President is just a small part to the solution, the major part is all of us standing to correct years of this disconnect.

  7. Well done. This is a clear plan and roadmap by UPND to take us forward. Easy to read and understand. It has a short term and a long term projection. It includes incentives at individual level, and family level to start a business in energy supplying and earn a living (Ref:- Short term: item 1., and Long term: item 2.). This is how it should be. This is precisely what developed Countries like here in UK have been doing for years w.r.t renewable energies, and are rapidly expanding into right now.
    Now, can anyone tabulate what PF’s plan and road map is? Then we can compare AND tell which plan is better.

    • @Cactus that is how one should analyse issues. I like the part where he offers solutions to the problem. I think thats a mature way of addressing a situation.

  8. There goes another empty article by the most “intelligent” man on earth! Surely does this man really know what he talks about? I remember in the recent Presidential elections, in trying very hard to win sympathy from enlighted voters he said “i will reduce electricity tariffs if voted into power”. What this dull and cheap HH doesnt realise is that he is a laughing stock. Who doesnt know that electricity tariff in Zambia is very very low and hence no investor is willing to put their money where they will not make a profit. So where is HH going to get or find the money to go into expensive alternative energy whilst reducing the already low tariffs?
    Does this chap really think others have never thought about the simple points in his hollow article? This hollow and empty article if…

    • Laughing stock in your home te? Coz I do not see a whole lot of people laughing at him. They are too busy being poor and hungry. Twat.

  9. Katondo PF boys have no clue in management of national issues. When you have Mwamba ‘Chief Katondo’ Boy advising president will oppose every idea from opposition leaders, even if its ideas that can lead to resolve power shortages in the nation will just oppose them.
    Mwamba is a PI in South Africa and un able to take up his negotiated post as ambassador to South Africa.
    If Zambia leadership think every country will accept appoited crooks in their countries as you honour them in Zambia, will be shocked, ashamed and embarassed.
    This must be embarassing to the appointing authorities.

  10. More debts in just 3 years than UNIP accrued in 27 years. ABC was Minister of Finance in 1974 and 2014! Economics of socialism coated in capitalism

  11. Dogs that feed from droppings down the ground shall always support as good food even when it is mixed with rubbish .

  12. Political hostility cannot give room for likeminded Zambians to find an amicable solution to the current power rationing problem. The public is the end loser. Pathetic!

  13. If this under 5 politician as solution y can’t he make the solution to help people from southern province were hunger is rooming due to poor rain and asa is spo because s a fool Wu lives in fools paradise

  14. This is not a political issue, HH is right even if I do not support him. If its true its low water levels chaps, why is Zim not facing the same problem?

    Ask and dont just yap yap.

  15. Thanks hh but have you taken into account how many industries and households have come on board since 2009? I thought kariba,kafue gorge,itezhi tezhi, pensulo, mulungushi and musonda power stations are all undergoing massive rehabs just to mitigate these same issues. Zesco have said they have reduced power generation due to low water levels. Basa even upnd can do nothing in this situation. Let me remind you that its the same PF who have set up that coal energy generation plant in sinazongwe and not upnd. Talk to your collegues milupi mutati sindoyi who are behind CEC to invest in this and stop being middlemen and stop exploiting. Zesco

  16. If you are hearing the points raised by hh for the time then you must be the most dullest person ever lived in Zambia. Any person with at least a humble education know what hh thinks are solutions to the zesco low power supply.

  17. Now fuel price has also gone up. ERB are blaming the ZMW depreciation against the US$. When are we for once blaming ourselves for lack of foresight. When you hear all the blame game you want to think the god’s are conspiring against us.
    Elo lwanya.

  18. In Zambia we have evil adults like this blogger called Easterner above,very backward in thinking(dull)!These are the people surrounding Jameson Lungu,they can not radically comprehend simple literature from such an article,all they know best is issuing diabolical hellish primitive compulsions!One thing is now becoming clear in Zambia & is that God will continue pushing Zambians till they denounce the evils under PF!Zambian will continue receiving all sorts of economic & human development mayhems till they wake up from their slumber!These PF devils will continue defending themselves till their lies & diabolical deeds will consume them & then Zambia will be liberated!Nearly everything is crumbling in Zambia,& its not a pleasant episode we are in!More is still coming till Zambians will libel…

  19. I was about to rip off the author with all manner of vocabulary when I read the heading but discovered that the writer was HH. I decided to keep quiet.

  20. Spot on my president. Zambians prefer dull pipo for leadership on basis of tribe n region. Now Chagwa has killed the economy for embracing cursed RB. This is the beginning if sorrows in Zambia. Even in 2016 Zambians may vote unwisely again. I hate my country peoples wu vote with tribe and region instincts than on.merit.

  21. We warned the PF this was coming why did they not take steps to prepare for it. With the right planing these effects could have been mitigated. NOW TO THOSE THAT SAY THIS IS SIMPLY A NATURAL OCCURRENCE AND SUPPORT THE PF. TAKE NOTE WE ARE WARNING THE PF THAT THE PRICE OF OIL WILL SPIKE IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. EXPECTING A SHORTAGE IN AUGUST. WATCH HOW THEY WILL FAIL TO PREPARE COR THIS TOO.

  22. HH, if those inaccuracies and downright ignorance of the Zambian power system and sources of energy are all you have to offer, then yours are no solutions either. You are as dumb as the PF that you hope to replace.
    I just shudder for my country that solutions are not solutions st all, alternative keadership is no alternative at all. My God, what have done to deserve this?

  23. There are no further facts apart from the fact that PF has failed to rule.chimbwi no plan.
    No vision
    Completely useless

  24. In politics you can either choose the right leaders to do the right things or elect the wrong leaders and beg them to do the right thing.

  25. Ziko – You language clearly shows how dull you are. For how long has Zambia been experiencing the problem of power? Only a foolish HH follower will blame PF for this deficiency. Instead of focussing on how to solve this problem the future you start blaming the PF

    • Obviously Ndaje is calling people dull when he’s obviously the i d i o t here.
      You’re pretty s t u p i d if you think that has nothing to do with PF.

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