Tuesday, May 28, 2024

UPND Chair for Labour Urges Zambians to adopt alternative sources of power

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Ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) Chairman for Labour and Social Security Godfrey Beene has asked Zambians to adopt alternative sources of power as Zesco Limited grapples with the challenge of electricity generation that has resulted in load shedding.

Mr. Beene said Zambians should familiarize themselves with solar energy as the New Dawn Government tackle the challenge of insufficient power generation that has culminated into prolonged hours of load shedding.

He said complaining and pointing fingers at who is to blame over reduced electricity generation will not increase manufacturing or production.

Mr. Beene admitted that the current shortage of power is an unfortunate situation.

As Zambia experiences reduced electricity generation and supply, our attention is drawn to the plight of both workers and their employers who depend on Zesco power to produce goods and services. It is indisputable that we have found ourselves in an unfortunate situation. We also sympathise with self-employed businessmen and women who depend on electricity to produce their goods and services such as salon owners, barbers, restaurant owners, metal fabricators, et cetera. Rest assured that your government and your president Mr Hakainde Hichilema are doing everything possible to ensure this shortage of electricity which has, unfortunately, become almost an annual ceremony, is a thing of the past,” Mr. Beene said.

He said businessmen and women who can afford a mix of energy sources should be innovative amid power generation challenges.

“Our president cares, and that is why he visited Maamba Collieries Limited yesterday to go and ensure a changed routine maintenance schedule of equipment at the plant. In the same vein, he went to the Kariba Dam to see for himself the challenges the Zambezi River Authority and Zesco are facing with regards to power generation. We would like to encourage businessmen and women who can afford a mix of energy sources to adopt the innovations so that they are not negatively affected in their businesses in the short run. Those who can afford generators should acquaint themselves with the technology.

Equally, Zambians should familiarise themselves with solar energy,” Mr. Beene said.

“We know it is difficult to abruptly change from hydropower to other energy technologies but this is a changing world. We have fixed phones but now can also carry phones in our pockets. We have television sets at home but now can also watch on our smart phones. We must find solutions to the present challenge of electricity shortage. Complaining and pointing fingers at who is to blame will not increase manufacturing or production. But as we embark on this journey, we encourage employers and their workers to read the Employment Code Act of 2019. Section 74 is very specific on working hours. All workers are expected to put in eight hours of work starting on any day or hour. Those asked to work a little more should not exceed 48 hours per week unless it is paid for overtime,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Beene has reminded Zesco Limited to stick to their load-shedding schedule which has been split into two phases of six-hour outages.

“That is what labour laws stipulate. We, therefore, urge Zesco to stick to their load-shedding schedule which has been split into two six-hour outages. This should enable employers to plan their workers’ shifts. There is no need for employers to have all workers at the same time when they perform different roles at their places of work. Why should all workers report at the same time when the duties of some of them only begin much later in the day? Our emphasis is for employers to encourage quality productivity in the six hours Zesco is allocating. Since labour laws demand eight hours of work, the first hour can be used for preparation and then six hours for efficient production. Then the eighth hour can be used for knocking off from work. We appeal to union leaders to educate their members that eight hours of work does not mean from 08:00 hours to 17:00 hours. It is from any hour and any day. Let us remain productive as we share the available electricity. We cannot have what we do not have. We do not have adequate power supply at the moment,” Mr. Beene said.

Meanwhile, Copperbelt-based business executive Mellbin Simangolwa said President Hakainde Hichilema has shown leadership at a time when the country is facing a power challenge.

President Hichilema recently visited Kariba Dam and Maamba Collieries to check on the extent of the problem at the two operations.

President Hichilema has since advised Zesco management to segment load management into six-hours as opposed to straight 12:00 hours.

“There’s no perfect country, we will always have problems but we are comforted that now we have a leader who is able to take responsibility and give hope to the citizens. This power crisis is a result of failure by the government over the years to expand the existing energy infrastructure and also invest in other alternative energy sources. You can’t heap the blame on HH; even if he promised to end load shedding he can’t do that overnight. It’s gratifying to see ‘political will’ from the President and clearly we can see that we are headed in the right direction. It’s very gratifying to have a leader who takes responsibility and responds to the cries of the people with urgency,” Rev. Simangolwa said.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Melbin Simangolwa so it’s not the president to blame)? You call yourself a Reverend but you lack sincerity. If I were you and was afraid of offending the president I would simply keep quiet on the issue. It’s not only his promise to end loadshedding that has annoyed people it’s his boasting three weeks ago that he had effectively done away with loadshedding.

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  2. And this is what happens when we run to our colonial masters everytime we have a problem….begging for help…..colonial masters have their own challenges also….we have enough resources as it is to solve all our problems with begging for breadcrumbs from our bazungu and its mind-boggling to see HH even praise himself for being a “good begger”……

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  3. Like I said HH has no leadership qualities…as a President you’re in charge of the country and you should everything thats happening in the country everyday…and if something happens as a President you should take the blame not forcing your Ministers to take the blame on your behalf …thats being a coward….ZAMBIANS VOTED FOR YOU SO WHATEVER HAPPENS IN THE COUNTRY BE READY TO FACE THE NATION…..In opposition HH had a big mouth insulting and belittling the office of the President

  4. Lusaka Times why comments appear and then disappear…and most of the time comments don’t even appear…you have way too many pop ups and useless advertisements

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  5. This man thinks people just wake up and switch to other energy sources. People need leadership! You are the leaders. Initiate! Its your job to make citizens adopt alternative sources. The government should encourage its citizens to adopt solar by subsidizing energy alternatives. Make solar panels cheaper.
    Make inverters cheaper. Neighbouring Zimbabwe is the world’s biggest reserve for lithium. Go there and negotiate deals so you can start making these batteries cheaply at home. The Chinese have already struck such deals with Harare while you are sleeping and giving outdated impractical lectures to your citizens.
    “this is a changing world” who should know better? You the leaders. You are supposed to bring about CHANGE. Not sit in your office waiting for deals

  6. Ba LT stop indulging in your latest craze namely censorship. Everytime now it’s “Your comment is awaiting moderation”

  7. This guy has no morals at all. The solar energy is very expensive for an ordinary man, or person living in chazanga and kalingalinga etc. are u ok in your thinking or you are afraid to say the true because of being fired?

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