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.