ZESCO workers oppose its pending privatisation

82
14,156 views
ZESCO employees during Youth Day Celebrations
ZESCO employees during Youth Day Celebrations

Unionised workers at state run power utility ZESCO have opposed government’s intention to privatize the company.

The National Union of Energy and Allied Workers (NESAWU) has revealed that around 58,000 workers will be thrown into the streets if government goes ahead with its intended privatisation of State Owned Enterprises.

Union General Secretary Mansom Musawu said workers at ZESCO are alarmed at government’ intention to privatise the firm and other State Owned Enterprisers (SOEs) as announced in the 2017 National Budget.

“As workers who have grown with ZESCO, we would like to put it on record that ZESCO is a viable organisation whose cash flow and availability of materials have improved tremendously since the introduction of the prepaid electricity metering system,” Mr Musawu said.

He said the workers are demanding that ZESCO remains in the hands of the government as a strategic company for economic growth and development.

Privatisation has only worked to the advantage of investors who are reaping huge profits

Mr Musawu charged that the private sector cannot be trusted to take electricity to the rural areas due to their narrow focus on profits and cost recovery.

“The evils of privatising ZESCO far outweigh the benefits. We have learnt lessons from the privatisation of ZCCM and other parastatals which are paying very little mineral loyalty tax and company corporate tax below what the 944,000 formal workers are paying to the treasury through Pay as You Earn (PAYE),” he said.

He said the loss of quality jobs in privatised companies such as ZCCM, Zambia Airways, UBZ, Zambia Railways, Zamtel (LapGreen) led to an explosion of precarious jobs through casualization and outsourcing.

“Evidence is there that privatisation took bread from the mouth of poor workers. Privatisation has only worked to the advantage of investors who are reaping huge profits while failing to grow jobs and pay enough taxes to fund our developmental needs.”

He added, “The intended privatisation of state owned enterprises will throw over 58,000 workers in unemployment and poverty. According to the 2014 Labour Force Survey published by the Central Statistical Office (CSO), the electricity, gas, stream and air conditioning sector employs over 16,000 workers.”

we would like to see more professionalism, transparency and no political interference in the way ZESCO is managed on issues such as ZESCO’s earnings from its power exports.

 

He stated that throwing 58,000 jobs contradicts government’s policy of creating 100,000 jobs by the year 2017 and 1 million jobs by 2021.

“NESAWU would like to see more professionalism, transparency and no political interference in the way ZESCO is managed on issues such as ZESCO’s earnings from its power exports.

  • “How much is ZESCO earning from its optic fibre cable which is being used by companies such as commercial banks, Airtel, MTN, ZAMTEL and government institutions?
  • How much is ZESCO owed by government institutions in electricity bills such as police, the army, water utility companies, government ministries, office of the President, education sector and government institutions?”
  • He asked, “How much are contractors siphoning from ZESCO on security, construction and cleaning when the company has its own staff to do this kind of work?
  • How much is ZESCO spending on personal emoluments and fringe benefits for its top heavy management which is leading to corporate greed?
  • How much is ZESCO losing by selling electricity through vendors who get a commission of 3% from ZESCO and at the same time charge customers through a Commission?”

Mr Musawu said the Industrial Development Corporation should not be used to kill companies but to create more companies and quality jobs through economic diversification.

“The electricity industry will always remain viable as it is critical ingredient in every economic activity. Given the presence of large rivers in Zambia and the positive economic growth, the country has recorded, government should borrow enough funds to build large hydro-electric dams in the Northern Province where the rain belt has shifted. Such projects should be able to pay for themselves as there is ready market in Zambia and the sub region which are experiencing power deficits.

82 COMMENTS

    • Like its up to them. Privatize the bloody thing perhaps we will have some semblance of competence. I just experienced a 48 hour power outage even after buying over a 1000 units. Unbundle it and sell it quickly. We cant continue running these parastatals like charities.

      0

      0
    • This does not surprise me because most of the are political cadres with not qualifications for the jobs they are doing and they know that if its privatised they will be shown the door. Zesco needs to be privatised its been a cash cow for political parties for a long time now.

      0

      0
    • @ Ngolwa; what we need to do is to change the way we run ZESCO not selling it.There is no way we can have politicians like Mbita and Frank Bwalya in the board of directors of ZESCO and expect it to be productive.ZESCO and ZAMTEL are the only worthy properties we are remaining with as a country,we may as well consider ourselves as slaves or a colony.

      0

      0
    • Why cry when we have been crying for years because of their inefficiency. No wonder zesco is making losses. Surely, how can you have more than 58,000 households on free tariff? Do they know how much revenue zesco will make if these people just bought power for K300 which we buy on average? K17,400,000 per month is what zesco is losing because this inefficient workforce.

      0

      0
    • @Common Sense. Perhaps you are right. As a customer I just want to receive a good quality service from the company. The stories of low water levels are outdated. Zesco managers should find solutions to problems that’s why they are paid hefty salaries. I also dont understand why Zesco employees should receive almost free power. How many are they? I think that is a silly policy which should be scrapped immediately.

      0

      0
    • Uko!
      It is “stated that throwing 58,000 jobs contradicts government’s policy of creating 100,000 jobs by the year 2017 and 1 million jobs by 2021”.

      Where are 500,000 jobs visionless Lungu promised to create? Its all pathological lies & hypocrisy of PF bandits whilst dancing to dununa backwardness unfortunately!
      Trust PF bandits of Lungu at your own risk! The economy is melted & load shedding is now a normative. 58,000 workers with 5 dependants each=275,000 people sent into destitution by blind PF.
      Shocking!
      The Skeleton Key
      ~206~

      0

      0
    • A government of Kabovas, by Kabovas and for Kabovas will never care about common workers!

      Next time vote wisely!

      0

      0
    • sonta po – DUNUNA REVERSE – What next? Are we surprised? No…. IMF demanded the privatization of the remaining parasetals.

      DUNUNA REVERSE

      0

      0
    • @Nostradamus
      Lets buy Zesco, 50% you and 50% me and save our people, because lungu doesn’t want to sell zesco to HH and GBM

      0

      0
  1. Hon Mutati has already promised the IMF that Zesco will be privatized together with Zamtel. The IDC is a vehicle for corruption, people need to wake up. What do you expect if you have the likes of Robinson Zulu, Lawrence Sikutwa on the IDC Board. Buyers for Zesco have even paid a deposit to Minister of Finance. Mwapya lelo

    0

    0
  2. Any government has a responsibility to protect its people.
    Privatisation benefits the shareholders, at the expense of the workers.
    The solution is to change management.
    We need someone with business acumen to run ZESCO. Preferably, someone outside of the power-generation business. Such person will have to learn the ropes of power generation, in the process, he/she will ask questions, the resulting answers will be revealing. A person from outside of power-generation will bring new ideas that can add synergy. We have seen the automobile industry making such appoints whereby they brought in people from the tobacco industry! There are many expats with a penchant for Zambia, and the Zambian people, who would cherish this task. Many of those guys are financially well off, so remuneration…

    0

    0
  3. One thing I fail to understand is why we always want a foreigner to buy our companies and help them take the money out. You PF don’t be dull, you know the problem which is at Zesco…..political interference and poor management. Why cant you work on these two in order to make ZESCO operate efficiently and keep money within Zambia? Have not you learnt from ZCCM? Will the foreigner take electricity to rural areas? will a Foreigner have a heart for Zambians? Please behave guys dont be dull.

    0

    0
    • @Truth Hates, i couldn’t agree with you more. You are jolly right. The problem at ZESCO and a few remaining parastatals is political interference.

      0

      0
    • You have hit the nail on the head. There are only two problems at Zesco, political interference and poor management. Stop appointing cadres with no qualifications in decision making positions. Zesco is overstaffed because every political party in power employs its cadres at Zesco as a way of saying thank you.Whoever you are Stop this nonsense and save mother Zambia.

      0

      0
    • ZCCM was sold for $25m, and the business made 3 times that in 90days. That’s not a foreigners fault, that’s boma & whomever was involved being short sighted. Have the middle-east ever sold their resource to the West no? They sold a minority stake and kept a majority. Now oil is no-longer going to be @ $100 p/b, they have a surplus. Zesco is still talking about dams, water levels when we have sunshine. Zamtel has an operational deficit in a sector where existing entrants are making a profit, and we see new entrants. No skilled expertise on these boards to run the companies. Zambia has plenty and yet we have cadres, to make what profit or advance the economy, Patali! IMF will ensure they are both sold as that $1bn+ bailout can only save one entity.

      0

      0
  4. It should be sold indeed. Why should ZESCO workers be paying K0.50 for over 200 units when they have failed to satisfy the market. Getting electricity units almost for nothing. Getting units for free for their incompetence. Anyway its not everyone who is incompetent at ZESCO.

    0

    0
    • This is what has to change. ZESCO workers should start paying for electricity, they should start getting average salaries not the case where 50% of the income goes to salaries. Management has to change for better .

      0

      0
  5. Govt’s job is to govern the nation not managing a business enterprise. I have never completely recovered from the trauma of how govt mismanaged Namboard. Year in year out, like clock work, the govt managers allowed rains to damage Zambia’s precious staple crop after harvesting and storing it. People ended up eating yellow maize begged from the west.

    0

    0
  6. Zesco MUST ONLY BE PARTIALLY PRIVITISED kwasila.ZESCO is a liability. That Union leader is useless. When load shedding is the order of the day ali ndwiiiii

    0

    0
  7. Don’t be short sighted people! Privatisation is the IMF tool to keep us slaves and indebted.Look at ZCCM, look at the copperbelt today.Look at Zambia Railways.What will it take for us to learn? Alas! since neither you nor I are the Massa’s it has already been decided for us.In fact earlier this year there was a meeting in a named western country where Energy companies were deciding the fate of our energy resources. Its already been divided and decided.Whatever noise we make on social media holds no water.

    0

    0
  8. ZESCO is a Liability. Either created by Government or by poor management.

    Let government own less than % stake so that ZESCO can be managed effectively and economically.

    0

    0
  9. For sure workers cannot forego such huge wages where least paid gets over K15,000 and its wage bill accounts for over 60% of its revenue, and pay peanuts for electricity. If that is what the workers call viable then iam not surprised why they are resisting the unbundling. Zesco workers do not own zesco the people of zambia do, so they cannot be the ones to decide. After all most workers are employed on the basis of their political, family connections worse still on bottom power

    0

    0
  10. WHETHER ZESCO IS INEFFICIENT or YOU HATE ZESCO WORKERS, ZESCO IS OUR BABY, IT IS OUR NATIONAL ASSET!! DON’T CELEBRATE WHEN SOMETHING BAD IS ABOUT TO HIT ONE OF US OR OUR OWN- Remember the ZAMBIA AIRWAYS SAGA and where we are now!! The SAME POLITICIANS that have been MILKING ZESCO to DRYNESS are now SELLING IT FOR A COMMISSION!! ZESCO,ZAMTEL including Zambia Railways are VIABLE. IF NOT they CANNOT ATTRACT ANY BUYER! All we need to do is to discuss and agree and HOW BEST TO RUN THEM!! We can even put them on MANAGEMENT CONTRACT rather than SELL OURSELVES INTO SLAVERY the way we have done to the MINES where now ZCCM -IH is quarreling with mine owners who have CHEATED US OF PROFITS for SO LONG!!

    0

    0
    • @Bwafyaa we need atleast a thousand people like to change the stagnant mindsets of most Black Zambians. I like you……. The Mines must be repossessed selling was a foolish idea and move.

      0

      0
  11. PEOPLE, WHO TOLD YOU THAT WHEN A COMPANY IS PRIVATISED EVERYONE WILL LOOSE THEIR JOBS? THIS IS THE REASON WHY WE HAVE BEEN TELLING YOU TO STUDY.

    PEOPLE WITH QUALIFICATIONS HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT WHETHER THE COMPANY IS SOLD OR CONTINUE TO RUN BY GOVT.

    PROTESTS WILL NOT TAKE ZESCO EMPLOYEES ANYWHERE BEACUSE THEY DONT OWN THE COMPANY BUT ARE MERELY STAKEHOLDERS.

    WHAT THE OWNERS OF ZESCO HAVE DECIDED IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

    0

    0
    • @ tara kwena uli futu what is education without wisdom and the ability to generate wealth Zesco is a national asset and affects our security in all areas….. muleshibuka bushe isukulu mwaileko mwalelyafye imfungo?

      0

      0
  12. MUTATI PLEASE SPARE US, WHEN ZCCM AND OTHER PARASTATALS WERE PRIVATISED:

    1 WORKERS WERE RETRENCHED
    2 WIVES AT HOME PRIVATISED
    3 CHILDREN IN HOMES WERE PRUNED
    4 DEPENDANTS WERE MADE REDUNDANCY

    HENCE THE START STREET KIDs AND END OF EXTENDED FAMILY TIES IN ZAMBIA
    AGAIN WE WANT TO GO THE SAME ROUTE
    PLEASE SPARE ZESCO AND ZAMTEL AND US ZAMBIANs . GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS SHOULD JUST BE PAYING
    BILLS ZESCO AND ZAMTEL JUST LIKE THEY PAY TO AIRTEL, VODAFONE, MTN etc and not pa nkongole

    0

    0
  13. What really is the PF policy? The PF was voted on the backdrop of anti privatization. This led to the immediate repossession of Zamtel and attempts to take over ZANACO failed because the conditions that were put in place by the buyers. Some of us disagreed with that position to this very day, but the same Government wants to champion a cause different from what they were voted in office for, strange! Political ideology cannot be changed overnight. The PF must explain if they have changed their original vision and state what they have now become.

    0

    0
    • Since Lungu has said he has no vision, one must assume that PF are now following Mutati’s vision on parastatals, which is really MMD’s. This sell-off is exactly what MMD would have done if they were still in power. Some things never change and some PF00Ls are conned all the time.

      0

      0
  14. Which 58,000 workers is that hombre talking about? ZESCO has less than 7,000 Employees as of 28/11/2016.

    0

    0
    • You Sir and the other stupid minded bloggers before you should learn to read before showing your stupidity in public. The report above clearly states that the 58,000 workers are from all state owned enterprises combined. How you can single out ZESCO just beats me. That’s why we have been lobbying Lusaka times to block all you brainwashed/indoctrinated ZambianWatchdog bloggers. i cant put up with the nonsense from all of you

      0

      0
  15. The new owners will come with nothing but briefcases and with the same resources you have failed to run they will spin a profit! It is history repeated… Dununa mwana yama!

    0

    0
  16. The current PF & MMD pact does not know what its doing. Lungu has lost the vision he had to complete Sata’s vision. Sata’s vision was to maintain all parastatals including those which MMD had auctioned ZAMTEL, Zambia Railways, etc. MMD’s vision is to sell all the parastatals whether making profits or losses & pocket money in their private pockets. MMD through Dora Siliya, RB & Mutati has now taken centre stage & running the show with chasing of Kambwili. IDC was created by Sata to create more parastatals not sell the few existing ones which survived MMD privatisation. What this parastatals lack is credible managers & all positions should be advertised & jobs given to right people but not this string of appointments which KK left.

    0

    0
    • The fact that we may not have good managers in the country for now, although I doubt this, doesn’t give any ruling govt to sell the national assets on which the future generation depends. The best we can do is to advertise locally if we can’t find suitable local managers, recruit expatriates until good Zambian Managers are found or born just like we do with football coaches. Do we sell the Chipolopolo (National Team)? You only sell private football teams like clubs.

      0

      0
  17. wat we 4get is tht all this starts from the choices we mek wen castin the vote at the ballot.. to kill a snake, u hit the head.. presidents attitude translates to change in his government eitheer for the better or worse.. am sure we knw which one this is.

    0

    0
    • Lungu knows how Zambians can be fooled by just dancing to a stoopid song like Dununa Reverse. Ask the brainpower is dissipated by the jingling bokosi.

      0

      0
  18. RECKLESS DECISION BY VISIONLESS PF. ON THE OTHER HAND, PF WILL CONTINUE SIPHONING PUBLIC RESOURCES USING ZESCO AS A CONDUIT OF THE LOOT IF ZESCO REMAINS IN THE HANDS OF THE PF GOVERNMENT.

    0

    0
  19. DEAR GOVT, YOU HAVE MADE THE RIGHT DECISION TO PRIVATISE THESE COMPANIES, PLEASE LET US EXPEDITE THE PROCESS AND NEVER SHOULD YOU LOOK BACK.

    THESE COMPANIES HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH AND THIS IS THE WAY TO GO.

    SOME PEOPLE WANT TO CONTINUE WITH THEIR CORRUPT ACTIVITIES BY HOLDING ON TO THESE THEIR POSITIONS IN THESE COMPANIES, PLEASE LETS SELL THEM. THOSE WHO ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THIS CAN START THIER OWN COMPANIES AND MAKE OWN DECISIONS. MY EYES HAVE SEEN ENOUGH EVIL.

    0

    0
  20. Politics or not Zesco has been failing since the late 70s. I don’t know what’s the problem but can I have power 24hrs please?

    0

    0
  21. ZESCO MUST GO, IT IS NOT JUST A LIABILITY TO THE GOVERNMENT BUT HAS BEEN HEAVILY ABUSED BY GOVERNMENT. ZAMTEL SHOULD BE NEXT IN LINE

    0

    0
  22. VOTE WISELY NEXT TIME…! WE WARNED YOU
    IN BRAZIL CARS RUN ON CANE SUGAR DESIEL….! YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT. YOU CAN MAKE FUEL FROM SUGAR CANE… MAZABUKA WAKE UP

    0

    0
  23. It’s long overdue. The politicians have abused Zesco for their own benefit. Zesco funds campaigns, politicians send cadres, semi illiterate and
    illiterates, such as Judge Ngoma and Frank Bwalya. 30 percent of labor force are cadres.So they turn Zesco into Non Profit Organization.

    0

    0
  24. The birds have just come to roost,under new zesco management all have to reapply for their jobs and only jobs related to the bus sines shall be considered,how can you have hired security and self security at the same time?can some one at Zesco explain why must we have more than four receptionist on the entrance to Malambo road office just watching DSTV and busy on FB and whats app? all those must all give motivation to have them reconsidered if at all deemed necessary. For a 21 century company you need a lean management devoid of such wastage,only former workers with proven Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and their work is is related to the actual business of powering the nation should be considered, workers like copy typist,tea boys,chola boys,matero university electrical…

    0

    0
  25. Mr Mutati the Finance Minister should know that Classical theories do not always apply and were challenged by Keynes Theory in 1948 that the economy needed some Government interventions to reach full employment and the developed world has embraced the Keynes theory…RB lost to PF just by 100 000 votes then Late President Mr Michael Sata campaigned to give back Zamtel and ZRL to the Zambians which he did…

    0

    0
    • What is Mr Mutati’s comment on the Government take over of Inter Market Bank a private bank this morning thru’ The Bank of Zambia…That’s what I meant when I said of the Keynes Theory…The Finance Minister Mr Mutati should slow down otherwise he will fall down quickly and fast…People who talk too much are not performers just look at shi Nono…

      0

      0
  26. May I add a sixth bullet question which the union has conveniently failed to ask?
    . How much is Zesco spending on personal emoluments and fringe benefits (including free electricity) or its multiple bloated unionised workforce which has led to union and worker greed?

    The time has come for this country to take the bull by the horn and sort out the mess called Zesco? The workforce of Zesco.is a major part of the problem? If you sort out that workforce, then you have solved half of Zesco’s problems without doing anything else
    Don’t be duped into excuses like private investor wanting only money, no they want to do the business of supplying power to as many people and as efficiently as possible in order to make their profits? Sorry ba union donkeys time to dance.

    0

    0
  27. ZESCO bilong to us all Zambians but it employs only people from one or two regions of Zambia. If sold or privatised, jobs will be open to all qualified Zambians. So, please sell it today so that qualified picanins from other areas can also compete for jobs. Workers do not own ZESCO, so they cannot refuse.

    0

    0
  28. I think the MMD President I mean the Minister for Finance spoke about a ‘review’ to SOEs am sorry if I heard wrong after the beatings we suffered in Petauke before we over powered Mad Max my hearing is slightly impaired ….2021 Zambia Forward under new leadership

    0

    0
  29. Zesco is the most useless organisation in the world. It is through a well thought out analysis that I reached this conclusion. I am as objective as I can be. This institution is dead

    0

    0
  30. There two families in my area whose children all get employed by after completing school. They are sent to different towns.

    0

    0
  31. Mutati should get the Hanzard and listen to the position taken by the Parliamentary select committee on Energy headed by Hon Gary Nkombo and listen to what they said about Zesco. Second Mutati will do well to drew lessons from ministers with a vision. In 1999/2000 auditors recommended the sale of zisc Hon Kalumba refused to sale instead he identified two leaders Singongo/mwemba zisc survived find someone 4 zesco

    0

    0
  32. The reason they are protesting is because they will now have to work for their money if privatised. Secondly many of them will be made redundant as there are some who are getting paid just to turn up. When you see a zesco team working, you will find one person working while 20 are just standing around getting paid to do Jack!!

    0

    0
  33. It takes more than 1
    5 years for zesco to connect power to a small shop at a market after one has paid the connection fee. To stop this nonsense it should be privatized

    0

    0
  34. Selling zesco is like selling Zambia bane, plz let’s reason as true Zambians my people. Why can’t we just amend the problems in zesco ? Than selling.

    0

    0

Comments are closed.