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Suspend power exports immediately

By NATION REPORTER

GOVERNMENT must immediately suspend the exportation of electricity to other countries as this decision is subjecting citizens and industries to longer hours of load shedding, a development detrimental to economic growth.

This call has been made by the Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) president, Wright Musoma, who described the exportation of electricity as unacceptable at a time when a country has been hit with a drought.

Mr Musoma is also disturbed that Government is allegedly importing electricity at a high cost while cheaply exporting it.

“We would like to advise President Hakainde Hichilema to immediately suspend export to electricity to other countries. You cannot have a situation where you are exporting electricity to other countries and subject your own people to longer hours of load shedding.

“This is unacceptable. So, we just have to suspend the export of electricity. The pain that our people are going through, going hours without electricity, is quite excruciating. Let us suspend the export of electricity,” he said in a statement issued yesterday. 

Much as Mr Musoma understands that the exportation of electricity deals were made before Zambia was hit with the current drought, he said this should not be an excuse of not suspending the agreements.

He said it is regrettable that Government did not consider a clause of suspending the agreements when an emergency arose at the time they were being signed. “In any case, what President Hakainde Hichilema and the team should have done was to factor in, in these agreements a clause where we are able to suspend the export of electricity in times of emergencies like the one we are in. But this does not give them an excuse of not suspending the importation, they just have to do that,” Mr Musoma said.

He lectured Government on the need to prioritise its people before others by not subjecting them to long hours of load shedding due to electricity exportation deals.

Mr Musoma also wondered how the economy can collapse if Zambia suspended electricity exports, as argued by Government. “There is an argument from Government that our economy is going to collapse. I mean that is laughable. Government does not only draw its income from the sale of electricity, it draws its income from taxes. So, how can the economy collapse?

“In any case, the money from export of electricity just ends up in the pockets of politicians, so how can our economy be hurt? Our economy is going to be hurt big time if we continue load shedding, the people depending on electricity for their butcheries, welding and others,” he concluded.

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