BY NATION REPORTER
The Ministry of Energy and Zesco have defied President Hakainde Hichilema’s guidance that the state-owned power utility company and Luapula Hydro Power Corporation Limited should consider the possibility of entering into an equitable partnership for the development of Kalungwishi Hydro Power Project in national interest, sources have told the Daily Nation.
Instead, the Ministry of Energy and Zesco have demanded a complete takeover of the Luapula Hydro Power Corporation Limited, sources from both the Ministry of Energy and Zesco have confirmed.
President Hichilema’s desire and efforts to have the Zambian owned Kalungwishi Hydro Power project fully developed are allegedly being frustrated and undermined by Zesco managing director Victor Mapani and Peter Kapala, the Minister of Energy.
“It seems our boss’s earlier request to buy shares in Luapula Hydro and its subsequent rejection is what is still angering him such that he’s doing everything possible to block a local company that has been pushing this development for years. This Kalungwishi Hydro project started many years ago. I was already here and I know how political this has been,” the Zesco source revealed.
The development of the Kalungwishi Hydro Power Project has in the last two years been shrouded in a matrix of ownership struggle and the Daily Nation has been informed that Mr Mapani had offered a complete buyoff of the Luapula Hydro Power Corporation Limited.
Zesco sources have revealed that instructions were recently given at the highest level that an amicable solution be found to the satisfaction of all stakeholders for the development of Kalungwishi Hydro Power Project.
However, according to the sources; “those instructions seem to be falling on deaf ears because we can see here at our offices that some actions are being done in order to fulfill some people’s selfish personal interests. They are pulling in a different direction from where our President wants to lead Zambia.”
The country is experiencing an acute power deficit which has it undergo excruciating long hours of load shedding and President Hichilema had to travel to Abu Dhabi in search of solutions to the power crisis whilst his technocrats are busy frustrating his efforts on the ground.
According to the sources, this is despite Luapula Hydro Power Corporation acquiring 100 percent funding for the project and partnering with one of the largest Hydro Power Developers in the world.
President Hichilema’s desire is that Government, through Zesco, should partner with Luapula Hydro Power Corporation but the Ministry of Energy and the power utility are demanding a complete takeover of the Independent Power Producer, the sources revealed.