FDD President Edith Nawakwi has offered to give her time and expertise for free to the PF Government to help sort out the energy crisis the country is facing.
And the opposition leader says increasing electricity tariffs is not the solution to the current Energy challenges the country is facing.
Ms. Nawakwi says she is willing to do pro-borno work for the Government of the Republic of Zambia and help relieve the pressure on Republican President Edgar Lungu by coordinating the work required to sort out the challenges in the Energy Sector.
She explained that she does not need to be paid, love the President or be friends with him for her to help the country.
“This is were I say that if the President could just listen and not think that everybody must love him, he should just pick up a phone and call me and say my sister can we sit down and talk about how we can help each other in solving these challenges.
These are issues were I can relieve the pressure off the President and coordinate the work in Energy Sector pro-borno, I don’t need to be paid, I don’t need to love the President, I don’t need to be his friend to be able to help my country,” she said.
She added that if given the mandate she would sit down with ZESCO, CEEC and other players in the sector and ensure that solutions were found to the challenges as opposed to comparing the current Energy crisis to other countries in the region.
” I would sit down with ZESCO, CEEC and other players in the sector and help them address the root causes of the problems and map out both the short term and long term solutions. We have to see when we can for instance get a solar project coming on stream because you can build a solar plant within 9 months. We should be saying ZESCO has signed a power purchase agreement with such and such a company and will be coming on a solar stream in 9 months. It is the fastest way to supplying power to this country.
I head the President talking to Zambians living in Bostwana, he says South Africa is load shedding, Bostwana is load shedding, Tanzania is load shedding what is wrong with Zambia load shedding? There is no ambition! Now South Africa has announced that they are putting on stream 800 mega watts so his comparison of South Africa is behind current affairs. I want to know what’s the way out.
I don’t want to hear that because my neighbor has no food so it is OK even for me and my children to suffer. What kind of a father is that? Your friend has no uniform so its fine even you should not have a uniform, if you shift into a house which is leaking you say its fine because it has always been leaking, that is the behavior of the PF,” Ms. Nawakwi observed.
And Ms. Nawakwi has noted that Increasing electricity tariffs is not the solution to the challenges in the power sector and that doing so is a recipe for creating other problems.
“The Minister is trying to justify tariff increments because he wants to squeeze the small group who are hooked to the electricity grid not knowing that the more he increases the more deforestation takes root so he is not solving anything but creating other problems in the same sector.
Frankly speaking I don’t expect Zambian households to pay as much as they are paying in DRC where there are no generation stations but I expect the mining sector to pay a parity price. Not only do we have plenty of water” continued Ms. Nawakwi, “but we also have huge potential for generation of clean energy such as solar energy among others.
She added ” I expect this Government to use ZESCO as a platform for diversifying our interest in the mining sector and turning them to earning money from power generation. DRC tariffs are 40cents per kilowatt while Zambia is at 11….doesn’t it not interest our friends in Government that they can do a contract with DRC come back to Zambia and offer a private developer a contract even at 25cents who would then use the contract with Government to lend money from banks for the development of a power station? This is a simple mathematical theory of trade economics.”
She also disputed the Minister’s assertions that private players were shunning the Energy sector because of the low tariffs saying it is the attitude of Government officials which is hindering the private sector from partaking in the development of the power sector because the sector has been politicized.
The opposition leader was commenting on Energy Minister Christopher Yaluma’s claims that the solution to the challenges in the Energy Sector are as a result of low tariffs which has hindered significant investment as Government has been subsidizing the production of power.
The Minister also claimed that private investors have shunned investing in the Energy Sector because of the low tariffs. He said this when he featured on a live program on ZNBC dubbed the Sunday Interview.