via Minister Should Stop Electricity tariff hikes – The Zimbabwean 25/01/2016 by Kurauone Chihwayi
The arguments presented by the Minister of Energy and Power development Dr Samuel Undenge in defense of increasing electricity tariff charges are shallow, ill -timed and disastrous for farmers, industry and millions of livelihoods in the country. Zimbabwe is in an energy crisis due to mismanagement and corruption at ZESA, and government’s failure to plan ahead and implement sustainable energy initiatives.
It therefore strikes us as grossly unfair for government to now to try and hide its inefficiencies through the imposition of exorbitant electricity tariff hikes to the suffering citizens.
The role of government is to create the environment and the opportunities that give citizens the chance and the wherewithal to improve their circumstances and become economically independent citizens able to meet such tariff hikes as this proposed one. Our government has completely failed in this regard. Companies and individuals are already struggling to meet their electricity costs and it therefore boggles the mind how Undenge and his pals in government expect them to be able to pay the increased tariffs. This ill -advised decision will lead to the closure of even more companies, more job losses, health hazards and even lower standards of living for the suffering millions.
The MDC believes this is not the time to be raising tariffs of anything whatsoever for Zimbabwean citizens who have borne the brunt of the economic mismanagement by the ZANU PF government but a time to deliver on its promises to make life better for citizens. Where are the Chinese mega deals we were promised would solve the energy problem? Where are the 2 million jobs so that citizens have income to meet financial obligations?
The MDC warned that this corrupt and incompetent government does not have a plan to resolve not just the energy crisis but all other challenges facing the country. A corrupt government run by a 92 year old President and clueless cabinet ministers adds up to a very confused nation.
The government has failed to heed our warnings to depoliticize and commercialize ZESA to enable it to expand electricity capacity and to encourage investment in alternative free energy sources so that consumers have access to alternative energy sources. The people of Zimbabwe deserve affordable and available electricity in their homes and businesses and an Mdc government will get it done
MDC National Spokesperson