ZESCO managing director Cyprian Chitundu has confirmed Zambian Watchdog revelations that the PF is about to increase the cost of electricity.
But Chitundu in confirming the revelations, Chitundu is lying that the imminent electricity tariff increase will not affect low consumers of power and the poor in society.
On June 12, 2012, the Watchdog revealed that the PF government was to increase fuel and Zesco electricity tariffs in a few weeks in order to address the crisis being faced by the energy sector in the country.
But Chitundu told the pro-PF government Post newspaper that the increment was targeted more at big industries as opposed to the lowest consumer.
“We are making an application to the Energy Regulation Board for a general increase in tariffs; and not just the mines but we are taking into account the poor and low consumers of electricity who will only receive a minimal increase or none at all,” he said.
“We need to build. And to do this we need money, so unfortunately we will have to increase tariffs on our consumers.”
Chitundu said Zesco’s biggest problem was the limited electricity supply.
He said as a result the company was embarking on new projects to mitigate the impact of load-shedding such as the new Kariba North Bank which will be ready by November and will be able to produce 320 Mega Watts.
But government sources on 14 June told the watchdog that there were several populist policies the PF government implemented that are no longer sustainable on the world market.
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 every day, 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.