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Alba Iulia
Monday, April 6, 2020

Electricity hike will hit already struggling Zambians and local businesses-HH

Headlines Electricity hike will hit already struggling Zambians and local businesses-HH

UPND president Hakainde Hichilema
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema

The latest rise in electricity prices will hurt Zambians who are already struggling with the ever-rising cost of living, not to mention our local businesses which should be the lifeblood of the economy and represent the best hope we have for creating enough jobs for everyone.

The country is already facing massive power blackouts leading to job loses in key sectors of our economy. Now even the few hours businesses get some power for minimal production has increased in cost through the rising electricity tariff.

This price increase comes at a time businesses are struggling with the recent fuel price increase that has hit most business houses resorting to gensets.

Even worse, there has so far been no clear and alternative policies on mitigating the current electricity deficit other than planned imports at the time we have also continued to export power to other countries despite our own power deficit.

We have been shocked by the handling of the power crisis by the PF government, who has focused their efforts on distancing itself from the cause of the problems. They claim that it is caused only by low level waters and is therefore beyond human control. Let us be clear that if it were not for the continual underinvestment and mismanagement of our power generation, transmission and distribution network over the years, including the past 4 years of PF government, this problem would not have arisen. At this stage we should in fact be bringing more capacity online each year to open up opportunities for Zambians to improve their living situation and local businesses their prospects, not facing the reverse.

While electricity and power projects are known to be expensive, for a government that has borrowed more money than at any other time in our history how is it possible that this sector has been so neglected? If we do not have the money ourselves to invest then the other way to tackle this problem is to encourage private investment in energy projects, and there are some places where this is already happening on a small scale, even using renewable sources that bring additional benefit. However, investment in Zambia under the PF has never been more unattractive. The failure of the PF government to plan and invest in the sector, or to attract those who are able to develop projects in Zambia has resulted in great cost to the Zambian people, in terms of jobs, lack of access to power and high prices.

How did government let us get to this state? There are two possibilities: one, they have not understood and appreciated the work and investment that is needed in the sector. If so this is unacceptable and they must wake up – it is their full time job and this is not good enough. Zambia deserves better! The second possibility is that they thought they might get away with not investing, that they could hold out until after the 2016 elections and then Zambians would have no choice but 5 more years of PF government, regardless of whether they have electricity. They have been caught short and should be responsible enough to shoulder the blame for the hardship so many are now facing as a result.

Hakainde Hichilema
UPND President

___________________________

Issued by: UPND National Campaign Centre, Lusaka

[Read 46 times, 1 reads today]

55 COMMENTS

  1. Well said Mr.President. Everything in the country is moving from bad to worse. Kwacha now at 8 t a dollar. We have so much sun and yet in since this lad shedding started we have not heard of any meaningful interventions. No vision Edgar and his Minister have no clue on how to mitigate crisis

  2. …..as the suffering continues.

    People that follow blindly will still vote for PF because the suffering becomes a normal way of life

    • The solution is there in HH’s article. Investment in power generation. The PF has concentrated on constructing roads and neglected all the other sectors. All the Eurobonds borrowed so far have been pumped into road construction. How does a dual carriage way leading to Chilenje market lead to development? Roads are meant to cheat simple people like you who think development is just what you see.

  3. Clearly HH has a problem. If he understands the power situation he would know that the reason we are in this situation is because our tariffs are so low that private investment finds it un attractive to invest. Now that PF wants to increase tariffs so that private players can come in HH again is against this.

    • Not only that, but ZESCO’s monopoly on power generation, distribution, and supply provides little/no room for private investors! Plus with all of PF’s flip-flops (SI this, SI that) and re-nationalization of ZAMTEL (which we were told on Monday was “not a mistake” simply because it was popular at the time… great, huh?), what private investor would ever feel secure making a long-term investment Zambia’s energy sector?

      Yes, raising tariffs is a necessary first step (which HH misses given that any/all opposition politicians are desperate to score easy points), but the real problem is this move will have little or no impact unless these other things are addressed too.

    • @ Munjali: Umwana ushenda atasha nyima. If its true that electricity tarrifs in Zambia are the lowest in the region, how do we explain how in the neighbouring countries almost anyone including in the villages, can afford electricity? What is the point of having electricity if only a privileged few can afford it? Fuel cost in Zambia is the highest in the region. Lets not just support politicians, make your own research and find out the truth. No point in hating HH, he has a right to voice out whatever he thinks just like anybody else.

  4. I have never called HH an under five because I thought it was unfair for an aspiring Presidential candidate. But today I am compelled to do so and I will give reasons.
    1. The required investment in new generation power stations including private sector participation is already known, and there was a statement from cabinet to that effect last week. Does he read? Even if he hates PF he has to read otehrwise he will be criticising from without and look really illiterate and dull.
    2. As a private investor himself is HH ready to invest in new generation power if there is no return on the investment? Of course not, but maybe so, which will prove Sata correct that HH really is an under five after all.
    3. When read in totality HH’s statement is a ball of contradiction, how can investment in…

    • The point you are missing is that this is the wrong time to implement an increase in electricity tarrifs. Its immoral to do so now because of the suffering that people have been made to endure is squarely due to the lack of vision by the PF leadership. Currently our government is run by incompetent populists and so we will continue to suffer so long as they remain in power.

  5. .
    3. When read in totality HH’s statement is a ball of contradiction, how can investment in new electricity generation take place without increasing the tariffs? Is he not an economist to know that tariffs must increase to raise money for such investment?
    4. Even if he borrowed, how would he pay back the loans if he cannot make a return?
    5. What would he choose, perpertual blackouts or pay a little more and have lights all day 24/7 all year round?

    • Thank you sir. You are on point. We don’t live in a fantasy world, but reality. Investments in energy in the last four years has been massive and more is needed but without even a small profit, loadsheding will get worse for decades to come. The above article explains why HH has lost a record 4 presidential elections. Zambians are too intelligent for such talk from HH.

  6. 6. I hope HH does not think that renewable energy comes cheap, but under fives are at the level of simpletons anyway.
    7. If he read the statement from Cabinet he would know that that the threshold for continued low charge from ZESCO has been increased five fold from 100kwh to 500kwh. This is more than enough to take care of the needs of the vulnerable but even himself HH will benefit because it applies to all residential customers.
    8. Does HH know that the load shedding has nothing to do with PF but with all people who think like him. This problem was a time bomb waiting to explode, to borrow words from his vice president Dr Banda.

  7. 9. It is clear from this underfive campaign statement, that the problem of load shedding would have been with us and perhaps worse, even if HH had been president of this country for the past ten years. 10. Clearly with such type of thinking he would not have solved any problem in the country, he does not have foresight or understanding of issues.

    Please HH, just continue enjoying your wealth and comforts, politics is not for you, and certainly not for not for UNDERFIVES! If ever we need an alternative to Edgar Lungu, the Zambian people know that this is not the time and surely they know that HH is NOT that alternative!

  8. Zambian power utility Zesco’s national average tariff currently stands at US¢ 5.7/kWh, with current residential tariffs at ¢ 6.52/kWh and current average mine tariffs ranging between ¢ 3.4/kWh and ¢ 4.6/kWh.

    Mukabe explained to delegates that this tariff is not cost reflective, especially when considering that the country’s new generation projects are expected to push the tariff upwards.

    The progression towards cost reflectivity in Zambia, in light of the several power generation projects expected to come online to ensure security of supply and sell power back to Zesco – is expected to increase the power-purchase agreement tariffs as follows.
    ?Project 1: ¢83/kWh
    ?Project 2: ¢5/kWh
    ?Project 3: ¢83/kWh
    ?Project 4: ¢23/kWh
    ?Project 5: ¢ 14/kWh

    Significant future tariff…

  9. ?Project 1: ¢83/kWh
    ?Project 2: ¢5/kWh
    ?Project 3: ¢83/kWh
    ?Project 4: ¢23/kWh
    ?Project 5: ¢ 14/kWh

    Significant future tariff increase

    The average price of generated electricity from the above projects is about ¢ 12.67/kWh, Mukabe says.

    “With Zesco’s current national average at ¢ 5.7/kWh and all the above projects expected to sell to Zesco, Zambia’s power tariffs will be required to increase significantly over the coming years, compounded by the long term marginal cost at which electricity was supplied,” he adds.

  10. Awe ine I wont vote for PF again twachula sana. Yes we can see development is there but what are they doing about the economy and the ever dropping kwacha to $. Bane am very upset.

  11. Have supported PF since 2001. But after getting into power what do we get, prices of mealie meal goes up, fuel goes up, transportation goes up, Zambian currency keeps on becoming weaker, Electricity prices goes up despite lots of load shedding, effecting the Introduction of withholding taxi, meaning if you paid rentals 2000 now it will be 2200, Road taxi increased. The list goes on and on and come 2016 I stand in the long queue to vote for PF?

    • Mwana it is not K2200 instead it is K2222.22 for the land lord to maintain his K2000 otherwise 10% of K2200 will be K220 which leaves the landlord with K1980.

  12. It is clear to me now that UPND as a party are going nowhere with HH as the leader. Other than HH, there is no longer any other leader in the UPND. HH will comment on all issues under the sun, even on issues HH is ill qualified to comment on. If this article on energy was written by HH, then I must confess I find it hard to believe that he went to the University of Zambia and that he studied Economics. HH talks about attracting investors to the energy sector, with such low tariffs which investor will be attracted?

  13. i wonder what people see in HH. Is it his wealth or tribe or both. Surely one can never expect a person aspiring to be president to speak nonsense. Wealth or tribe does not gaurantee one to be president. If you take away wealth and tribe who does hh become and what will people talk about him. Mind you when you take away the two things hh become mulyokela part two.

  14. You Hh do you want politicize everything?That’s why our politics in this country have become irrelevant and no opposition leader is inspiring Zambians

  15. HH you are a Chimbwi no plan no doubt. How many power stations are under construction right now? How long does it take to construct a power station even a mini hydro one? Baba a power station is different from constructing a shopping mall it takes at least 3 to 4 years for a small power station like Lunzua to fully commissioned while a bigger one like Itezhi Tezhi will take about eight years. I know know you having the business acumen would have constructed one by now if you it was lucrative to run a power station in Zed. Show us your so called inteligence instead of barking like a rabid dog.

  16. Mwe bantu hh is not an alternative to pf. Just think of someone else. Else pf will and should continue

    • You guys must be having nightmares over HH, holla you need piriton bra it will help get some shut eye. If he is a non factor how come you get hard on’s whenever he speaks, coughs or blinks?

  17. Surely even if its political mileage people, this man called HH doesn’t like Zambia. The entire region in Southern Africa is experiencing this electricity power problem due to POOR RAINS received in 2014. What about the crop failure in Southern Province as a result of the partial drought, who is he blaming?
    Does HH know the cost of constructing one Power Station of a given capacity? Does he know how long it it takes to build such infrastructure, the transmission lines and the supporting sub stations? Or may I simply ask, does he have genuine advisors on energy matters?
    Let me remind HH of this. Kariba Power Extension, Itezhi tezhi Power project, Maamba, Ndola Energy, Lunzua, Musonda, Lusiwasi upgrade are all projects embarked on by the PF Government. For an investor to bring money in…

  18. For an investor to bring money in the energy sector, what is the ROI today? Nil. Infact the PF Government has increased the number of units from 100 to 500kWh at the same price of 15 ngwee per unit, meaning everyone has been taken care of. Only when one exceeds 500kWh will they pay the true cost of electricity, so HH must not be cheap and lie to innocent people. PF means well on this issue. If the opposition have run out ideas, please just keep quiet and stop misleading yourselves.
    Honestly speaking, HH doesn’t deserve to lead any organization because I see serious lapses in this man who calls himself an economist. My advice to HH is this, please serious on National and important matters okay?

    • Typical corrupt PF kaponya lies, pedalled to steal more money. We already have a electricity grid and substations so why do we need to build more transmission lines???. Next we will be hearing we need to borrow more money to build another grid.

  19. You are right that at the current rates, investors will shy away from investing in power generation. But it is because the cost of doing business in Zambia is prohibitively high. The cost of building being the most expensive in the world. All this so PF officials can get cuts. So to make it attractive for investors despite the skewed costs of production they increase costs and punish the poor.

    • Did the cost of building become high after the PF government took over or has it always been high? What exactly will HH do to bring down the high building costs in Zambia? COMPLETELY NOTHING
      FROM THE STATEMENT HH IS MAKING MY CONCLUSION IS THAT HH IS POLITICS TO AMASS MORE WEALTH FOR HIS FAMILY AND CRONIES

    • The over pricing of building projects was started by MMD and RB. When PF came in sata realised how overpricing was profitable so much so he moved the operations to his bedroom. To continue the scam PF even started borrowing eurobonds.

  20. Comment: Now i accept hh causes pf cadres sleepless nites due to unconsistency policy direction by pf govt, continue voting fo yo pf with more sufferings fo ordinary citizens

  21. i wander what people see in edger kachasu and the likes of the chishimba kamwili who as parents fails to think clearly. who like borrowing kaloba and come to tell the wife make business and business doesnt move again he goes to get some more kaloba then that family is sick. the whole pf family is sick

  22. @Kas, you have answered yourself partially. Those villagers in neighboring countries do not have cheap electricity at all, they simply accept that to have electricity you must pay the price of it. Your statement demonstrates that even Zambians cannot afford higher tariffs, but they are used to spoon feeding right from KK’s days of subsidies. I can assure you that when the tariffs are increased you and the villagers will still consume electricity and pay for it. If you cannot afford the quantities that you consume today, you will simply adjust to consume only what you need. But do we have any option at all? Or you prefer the dark ages forever? The loan announced today by Barclays should surely prove to you that these projects are expensive, so who should subsidize you?
    Certainly not…

  23. ..government, unless you want a Euro bond for subsidies?
    Forget HH, he is either politicking childishly, or he is ignorant, or he is not a qualified economist, or he is under five, or all four.

  24. @black bull, I see in Edgar Lungu a man who is able to make bold decisions for good of the country. You can insult him but you will not refuse to consume the electricity that will be made possible by his bold decisions. On the other hand, your HH is just a populist “politician” with no balls at all. Please suggest a viable alternative to Lungu and not that under five HH. No wonder he is not President of Zambia, God must see something terribly wrong in HH.

  25. Terrible on HH stop misleading Zambians with cheap analysis.Facts are that 1.MMD and PF have not invested enough in the energy sector at the rate the populations is expanding.We have more houses to connected to power than what ZESCO can supply.This is what we call lack of planning.2.We had enough rains that’s why we have a bumper harvest we are currently supplying maize to all neighboring countries,the 2015 presidential elections were delayed due to heavy rains it took 5 days to complete the exercise.So stop lying .3.Is not simple mathematics that when you increase the cost of Energy then you are increasing the cost of production in any industry and this is passed on to consumers.The question which PF and Lungu should be asking themselves is what should we do reduce the cost of energy…

  26. Ti wulule Guyz.The PF corrupt Former ZESCO boss with some minister sold off the old UK generators before transmission of the new Chinese Generators which are producing less power. The old generators were sold to SA and have since been reconditioned and working perfect. The New generators at Kafue gorge and Kariba of low quality and capacity than those which existed. Find out from those who work at ZESCO and are close to Generation of power they will confirm this.PF is corrupt to the born and they should be kicked out as soon as possible. Today its load shedding tomorrow its contaminated fuel imported at INDENI,what a joke of a government.

  27. The studenst at Mulungushi University are thankfull of your powerfull visit yesterday.Long live President HH .2016 its a must we shall make it without doubt.GBM keep it up.

  28. The students at Mulungushi University are thankfull of your powerfull visit yesterday.Long live President HH .2016 its a must we shall make it without doubt.GBM keep it up.

  29. I don’t think there is anyone in his normal senses who can invest in a business that will result into massive losses just to please the masses supplied with the services or goods. If anyone is happy about ZESCO making losses just to lift economic pressure on the citizens, he shouldn’t expect ZESCO to invest into more power generation. The economics are simple. Allow ZESCO to sell their power Zambians at loss margin, then ZESCO will have to borrow money to cover the costs incurred by the loss, borrow money to repair their generators and transformers, and borrow more money to invest in new generation, after some years, due to accumulating loans, ZESCO would be brought to its knees.

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