ZESCO proposed tariff increase condemned

The 50 per cent electricity tariff adjustment proposed by ZESCO on 1st May has been condemned.

Civil Society for Poverty Reduction CSPR says that effecting the whole 50 per cent increment at once is too huge for consumers to take.

CSPR Information and Communication Officer, Maxson Nkhoma says that the move will affect majority businesses particularly small enterprises and may result in job losses as companies will be trying to develop surviving strategies for their businesses.

Mr. Nkhoma says that CSPR wishes to advise ERB, the Energy Regulation Board to only allow increment of power tariff in a phased manner of at least 40 per cent over a period of one year.

He says that this will give consumers a space to adjust their businesses without causing major changes in prices of goods and services.

ZESCO has applied to increase tariffs by 75 per cent, in two phases of 50 per cent on 1st May and 25 per cent in September this year.

And Mr. Nkhoma notes that the increment of electricity tariffs is inevitable due to the high cost of investments the government has made to increase power generation and transmission in the past few years.

Farmers fear tobacco ban

Some tobacco farmers have called on EFAZ the Eastern Foodya Association of Zambia to dialogue with chiefs and find ways of preventing the tobacco ban.

Emmanuel Jere and Nason Banda of Chief Mnukwa’s area, say that concerns by traditional leaders that tobacco growing is leading to deforestation are genuine.

The two farmers however, feel that stopping people from growing tobacco can have a serious negative effect on people’s economic status.

They therefore feel, associations together with TBZ, the Tobacco Board of Zambia must instead find ways to encourage farmers to plant more trees.

Recently, some traditional leaders, especially Chief Chanje of the Chewa people in Chipata have warned that if there is no improvement in the planting of trees, they would ban tobacco growing to serve the forests from destruction.

Police pick up dead body

A 39 year old man has been found dead near Lunkhwakwa stream in Chipata district.

Eastern Province deputy police commissioner, Diamond Likashi has confirmed the incident to Breeze News.

Mr. Likashi identified the man as Hambe Ngulube, aged 39 years and believed to be from Mchini compound.

He says Mr. Ngulube was found dead in the early hours of yesterday.

He says the police, who went to the scene do not suspect any foul play.

Mr. Likashi added that the body is lying in the Chipata Central Hospital mortuary awaiting post-mortem

ZESCO applies for 75% tariff increase

The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation ZESCO has applied to increase tariffs by 75 per cent.

Energy Regulation Board ERB Director for Consumer and Public Affairs Agnes Phiri has confirmed to Breeze News in a statement.

Ms. Phiri says that the application on average is in two phases starting with 50 per cent on 1st May and a further 25 per cent in September 2017.

She says that following this application, the ERB will now proceed to consider the proposed tariff increases in line with the provision of the law that governs electricity tariff determination.

Ms. Phiri says that ERB will therefore, be receiving submission from the public in view of the ZESCO application within the next 30 days as stipulated by the law.

She has stated that ERB will convene a public hearing to consider submissions from members of the public.

East UPND against ICC consultation process

The United Party for National Development UPND in Eastern Province is against government’s decision to carry out a consultative process on Zambia’s position on its membership to ICC, the International Criminal Court.

Provincial Spokesperson, Victor Mbuzi says that the exercise is a waste of public resources, which are supposed to go towards national development.

Mr. Mbuzi told Breeze News that the matter of Zambia remaining an ICC member or not, is non-negotiable because the country should remain a member of ICC.

He says that Zambia should remain a member of ICC because it will assist to have leaders, who will at all times avoid crimes against humanity.

Mr. Mbuzi dismissed concerns from African leaders that ICC has not been impartial in its operations because only African leaders are being prosecuted.

He says that Zambians have nothing to fear because their leaders have not committed any crime that would warrant ICC intervention.

The consultation process on Zambia’s position on its membership to the International Criminal Court commenced yesterday.