By McPherson Chanda
I am not sure how President Lungu shouldn’t be given full credit for implementing a project which he discussed and negotiated for in 2015 as the nation begun facing crippling power shortages and blackouts. Granted the bilateral ties between Zambia and China date back to the KK era and there was a visit in 2007 by a Chinese Leader during the Mwanawasa era over which a regrettable “political quarrel” was referred to by Uncle Magande occurred.
Now, if it takes 8 years for a project to be revisited, signed – off and implemented it begs the question what was not done under Presidents RB and Sata over the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Project which Pres Lungu did and assured the nation that load – shedding would end? Matter of fact Chinese bilateral aid from TAZARA, Great North Road, Mwanawasa Stadium etc doesn’t take #years to move from signing to implementation.
In addition, apart from the 150 megawatts added from the first turbine at Kafue Gorge Lower, the PF Administration has ALREADY doubled the country’s power generation capacity from 1,600 to 3,200 over the past 10 years. (For argument’s sake, take away the 150 Megawatts added, there is still over 1,300 that has been brought on board).
It can be agreed that PF needs to do better in managing the #exchange rate because it has been driving the high INFLATION rate or the sharp increase in prices.
However, among the things that cannot be argued is that PF has scored very well in the ENERGY SECTOR. Load shedding is over and the addition of the remaining 600 megawatts from Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro – Power Station will add to the country’s future #export earnings.
In fairness, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu gets full marks for this. A daunting crisis chose him and he faced – up to it. It is fine to give credit where it is due – even to an opponent when he scores.