The PF government is to increase fuel and Zesco electricity tariffs in the next few weeks in order to address the crisis being faced by the energy sector in the country.
Sources further said the continued worthlessness of the Zambian currency, the Kwacha, coupled with the ever dwindling foreign reverses due to lack of financial prudence is also forcing government to increase certain commodities so that Zambian tax payers can meet the burden.
“As you may know, there were so many unbudgeted projects such as commissions of inquiries, districts being created almost everyday, the cabinet is ever growing especially at the level of Deputy Ministers, and now the Judges Tribunal where people are being paid whether or not they sit”, a source said.
“In fact, there is no coordinated planning going on in government because even cabinet meetings are not regularly held,” the source revealed.
The country has lately been facing a critical fuel shortage which Energy permanent Secretary, George Zulu, attributed to a bust on the TAZAMA-crude oil feeding line in Tanzania and high consumption by soccer fans travelling to Ndola for football.
Mr. Zulu told a media briefing that government will start by increase the pump price of fuel in order to fund the strategic reserves all oil companies were required by law to hold at any given time.
In a typical job on training style of government, Mr. Zulu is quoted in the PF controlled Post newspaper saying the absence of the Strategic Reserve Fund (SRF) weakened the country’s ability to deal with the current unplanned fuel supply disturbance.
“It (SRF) is being considered. We are discussing that, different situations call for certain decisions, and in view of this situation, we are also trying to continue discussing as to how best we can serve our people,” said Zulu.
In the usual populist move, the PF government in January this year scrapped off the SRF that was introduced by the Levy Mwanawasa administration as part of changes that saw fuel pump prices drop by 30 per cent.