President Edgar Chagwa Lungu (right) listens as ZESCO Managing Director Victor Mundende explains how Hydro Power is generated during the commissioning of 120MW Itezhi Tezhi Hydro Power Station in Itezhi Tezhi Central Province on Friday,March 4, 2016. PICTURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE ©2016.Trade and Economic Consultant Trevor Simumba has advised President Edgar Lungu to immediately fire Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa and ZESCO Managing Director Victor Mundende for incompetence.
Mr Simumba said the manner in which the power crisis has been handled shows that the two are highly incompetent.
He said maintaining Mr Nkhuwa as Minister of Energy and Mr Mundende at ZESCO risks plunging the country into total darkness.
“Your Excellency, it is clear we are in crisis but I am sure you will agree with me that the way your Minister of Energy and ZESCO management have handled this load shedding is extremely incompetent,” Mr Simumba said.
“As President fire these people immediately,” he added.
Mr Simumba said President Lungu must appoint competent people to run the Ministry and ZESCO.
“The level of load shedding is getting to extreme levels. The decline in national output is now affecting the kwacha increasing costs of everything including debt servicing which already accounts for 40% of budget,” he said.
“You are risking total collapse of the economy. Take action now Sir.”
Meanwhile, despite the importation of 300 megawatts of power on Friday, most areas in Lusaka are still experiencing more than 20 hours of load shedding.
Some residents of Lusaka’s Chilenhe and Emmasdale areas say they have not seen any reduction of load shedding since the importation of power from South Africa.
Chanda Bwalya, a housewife in Emmasdale said on Friday, power went at about 05 Hours and was only restored at 24 hours.
On Friday, Minister of Energy Mathew Nkhuwa disclosed that the importation of 300 Megawatts power from South Africa’s ESKOM at a total cost of 27 Million dollars.
Mr. NKhuwa says the 300 Megawatts received will only reduce power load shedding by two hours.
Zambia is currently experiencing a power deficit of over 800 MW with load shedding of over 15 hours.