UPND President has said there are various complaints in various parts of the country, particularly Eastern, Muchinga, Northern, Luapula and parts of Central Provinces regarding the unprecedented powercuts since last week Friday. He said this is not a matter that needs to be politicised as people’s lives are in danger as water utility companies in these areas have now been severely affected and are unable to pump water.
Mr.Hichilema said this is a national crisis and disaster that needs urgent attention as it may lead to water borne diseases such cholera and dysentery. He wondered how hospitals and clinics in these areas are coping. He hoped that resources have been channeled to these affected areas to alleviate the problems, especially the provision of safe and clean drinking water, standby generators and fuel so that lives are not lost in the affected areas.
Mr.Hichilema said he is fully aware of the need to seriously overhaul the operations of our power utility company, (ZESCO)which has been heavily politicised leading to sheer incompetence.
“It is on record that ZESCO received the biggest share of the borrowed Euro Bond money that was meant to upgrade it’s operations through procurement of quality equipment, but to date, they cannot account for the money,”he said.
Mr.Hichilema said the UPND has always emphasised on the need to channel resources towards the improvement of power generation equipment and investment in other sources of energy to reduce the current increased loadshedding in the country which has affected production and doing business at all levels, especially the small scale.
Mr.Hichilema challenged those who are clinging onto power to immediately dispatch teams of experts to the affected areas and channel resources to help Zambians other than globe trotting and earning huge allowances when the masses are suffering.
Allocation from the USD 750 Million Bond to ZESCO as at 31st March, 2014;
1) Kafue Gorge Lower Power Project [ZESCO]: US$186 Million was allocated for this programme.
2) Power Distribution Project [ZESCO]: US$69 Million was allocated for this programme.