Energy minister Dora Siliya has confirmed UPND president Hakainde Hichilema’s statement that if President Edgar Lungu and PF wins the 11th August general elections they will increase electricity, while contrary to Lungu’s public relations scheme to reduce electricity tariffs, the commercial and Industrial tariffs and in some domestic cases have remained the same.
Addressing the media yesterday, Siliya said that the increase to cost reflective value will take place in a gradual process. She however did not say when it will start but an insider has disclosed that it is earmarked for October, 2016 shortly after the general elections. Siliya also directed the Energy regulation Board (ERB) to direct Zesco to effect the reduction in some residential areas.
“There will be a migration to cost reflective values for electricity but I want to state that this will be done gradually and in phases. As at now i am directing ERB to direct Zesco to effect the reduction as directed by the President,” said Siliya.
Following Lungu’s cosmetic directive to Zesco to reduce the cost of electricity, Hichilema warned that Lungu had just taken the step in order to hoodwink the electorate in exchange for votes which he desperately needs. Hichilema warned that should Zambians make a mistake (which is likely not to happen) of re electing Lungu, they will be subjected to untold misery and that the tariffs will be increased.
Meanwhile, the cost of production and doing business shall still remain high because Zesco will not reduce the commercial and Industrial tariffs. A Zesco insider said that there wont be any reduction in the industrial and commercial sector and that the reduction in domestic is only done in very few areas, especially along the line of rail where people are assumed enlightened. He said that Zesco will be giving a fake excuse of ‘not having received directive from ERB’.