Govt not being sincere on power tariffs

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By JACKSON MAPAPAYI 

A BUSINESSMAN in Solwezi, Mr Nathan Mulonga, has observed that government is not being sincere with the people of Zambia on increased electricity tariffs.

Mr Mulonga said this was because the failure to properly manage the energy sector would have a long term negative effect on businesses and on the economy.

He stated that the approved rates were way beyond what an ordinary Zambian can afford.

He said this was because increase for both electricity tariffs and petroleum products are more than 100 percent.

“How do you expect someone given a Constituency Development Fund grant of K5, 000 to go into business and survive with such unnecessary increases? It’s not possible,” said Mr Mulonga.

He said though there is a provision for instalments, it is not possible that one could be inspired to go into business.

He said government should consider revisiting the move as the tariffs are too exorbitant for a common Zambian.

“It is unacceptable and government should rethink about this and find a formula which would help Zambian entrepreneurs,” Mr Mulonga said.

Mr Mulonga who is also Forum for Democracy and Development national secretary said if left unchanged, the tariffs would be a source of corruption.

He wondered why government is being adamant on issues hinging on the lives of Zambians.

He also wondered why Zambians could not see the benefits of the International Monetary Fund bailout when there was a promise that the cost of doing business would be lowered with the bailout in place.

On Monday, the Energy Regulations Board announced the latest electricity tariffs starting next year.

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