UPND and CSPR against electricity tariff increase

The opposition UPND, United Party for National Development says that the ZESCO proposed tariff increase should not be approved.

Provincial Spokesperson Victor Mbuzi says that the timing for the tariff increase is wrong because the country’s economy is not stable.

Mr. Mbuzi told Breeze News this morning, the any increment in tariffs will push up the prices of all basic commodities in the country.

He further says that most ordinary Zambians are struggling to make ends meet and that any increase will subject them to more poverty.

Mr. Mbuzi says that the increase in electricity tariffs should wait until Zambia’s economy stabilizes.

Meanwhile the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction CSPR says that government seems to have already made a decision to increase the electricity tariffs.

Advocacy and Communication Programme Coordinator Maxson Nkhoma says statements coming government especially Energy Minister, David Mabumba are clear that the tariffs will be increased by 50 per cent on 1st May.

Speaking to Breeze News this morning, Mr. Nkhoma says that this renders the whole process where ERB, the Energy Regulation Board has called for submissions on whether ZESCO should be allowed to increase tariffs useless.

He says that this is against the major principal of governance because the process of consulting stakeholders has not been finalized.

Mr. Nkhoma says that CSPR is aware that electricity bills for senior government officials are paid by government, which is not the case with those running small businesses like saloons and barbershops.

And Mr. Nkhoma observed that 60 per cent of the power generated by ZESCO is consumed by the mines at a very cheap rate.

He says that this means that ordinary Zambians are subsiding the huge costs incurred by mining companies, a situation he described as unfair.

Patriotic Front calls for national peace

The Patriotic Front PF Party has called on Zambians to maintain peace at all cost.

National Committee member, Benjamin Siwila further says that youths should not allow to be used for violence.

Speaking to Breeze News, Mr. Siwila says that it is important for Zambians to support President Edgar Lungu to deliver on his promises.

He says that the head of state has been going round the country to check on projects, just to ensure that all parts of Zambia experience development.

Mr. Siwila challenged young people in the country to come up with project ideas so that they can be supported to develop Zambia.

He also pointed out the need for Zambians to provide an environment that will create investor confidence through discouraging any form of violence.

Christians told to buy vehicles for men of God

A clergyman has directed congregants to buy vehicles for their pastors to fulfill God’s Word that faith without actions does not serve a purpose.

Reverend Harry Nkhoma says that congregations especially from rural parts should start buying vehicles for their pastors so that they become mobile in their delivery of the gospel.

Reverend Nkhoma was speaking in a sermon at the closure of RCZ Reformed Church in Zambia, to mark 50 years jubilee of self-governance in Katete district yesterday.

Reverend Nkhoma explained that RCZ has grown with over 700,000 full communicant members from 170 congregations throughout Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

Meanwhile Church Moderator Professor Edwin Zulu says the church is self-supporting.

Professor Zulu says RCZ is an agent of reformation adding that it has continued partnering with all successful governments in all spheres of development in Zambia.

He says the church also recognizes traditional leaders who have provided the land for structures, stating that without their assistance, the church would not have progressed.

ZESCO asked to further break down the 75 percent proposed tariff adjustment.

The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation ZESCO has been asked to further break down the percentage of the proposed tariff adjustment.

Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry EPCCI says that this will assist to provide relief and reduce the cost of doing business.

EPCCI President Thomas Mtonga says that the 50 per cent increment for May and a further 25 per cent increment for September are too much for ordinary Zambians.

Mr. Mtonga says that although electricity tariffs in Zambia are low compared to other countries in the region, a gradual increment would be the best way to handle the issue.

He says that EPCCI is aware that ZESCO wants to ensure that its operations are cost efficient but the country’s economy has not been performing well.

Mr. Mtonga says that the proposed 75 per cent increment should be implemented for a long period unlike within five months.

ZESCO on Sunday indicated that domestic consumers who use less than 300 units per month will not be affected by the tariff adjustment.

Spokesperson Henry Kapata called on consumers to maintain power usage discipline if they are to continue buying electricity at 15 ngwee per unit.