Citizens First President Harry Kalaba says the power disruption that the country is currently facing has brought alot of misery to the people of Zambia especially for those who run and manage small businesses.
Mr Kalaba added that the power cuts have caused doom for those run small businesses such as barbershops, salons, welders, butcheries, and many other small businesses, as they are the ones who are heavily affected.
He noted that this load shedding is now affecting big companies and shopping malls as they have not be spared and as result of that business has become very slow which also hinges on the economy thus, leading to the economic growth being stagnant as there are not incentives happening in the economic which is also affecting whole enterprise of living in the country.
Mr Kalaba mentioned that the justification by the power utility company ZESCO that there is poor rainfall pattern that has caused low water levels at the Kariba North Bank, is not true because the country has not experienced any draught in last three years and the only challenge was in 2017 to 2018 when the country experienced a draught, so, ZESCO cannot just say that load shedding is because of the rains.
“We are of the view that, the challenge has been because our colleagues in government now managed to get rid of everybody that was working at ZESCO and brought in their own people, those who had the plan to push the agenda forward to end loadshedding are not there, and institutional memories were erase in the process, so this is why we are where we are today and we are shooting in the dark,” he said
He stated that ZESCO is not operating the way it should be, adding that a quasi government institution cannot be operating in the manner that ZESCO is operating now because Zambia is a country that should be leading a way now when managing parastatal companies such as ZESCO, but it’s a pity especially that they had to ask some people to leave and employed many more people who are affiliated to the United Party for National Development – UPND but its not the way things should be.
He said that the President taking a tour at Maamba Collieries and Kariba Dam, does not offer any solutions because the solution is about being focused by understanding the electricity management in the country.
Mr Kalaba said that the seeing the splitting of the 12 hours of load shedding as a relief is quite shocking because the Minister of Energy had informed the nation that ZESCO had reduced the number of megawatts there where exporting outside the country and as a result of this reduction, the Citizens First Party expected that the number of loadshedding hours will also be reduced.
“There was an outcry in the country where all of us in the opposition and ordinary citizens where saying the 12 hours of load shedding is too much, stop exporting or at the least reduce the number of megawatts being exported and the government heard this call that was made by Citizens First and announced that they have reduced on exports but they have not told us how many megawatts that they have reduced in terms of exporting, they haven’t also told us the countries which will be affected because of this reduction, and they have not told us as to whether the reductio in the exporting of those megawatts is going to have an effect on the number of hours that we are currently facing for load shedding, so we are shocked that instead of telling us that they have reduced on the load shedding hours, they are saying that they are staggering, but is that how you do things when you reduce on the number of exports of megawatts,” Mr Kalaba explained