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Abrupt Zesco tariff increment will cause shocks in households – HamududuBy Mirriam Chabala on 19 May 2017
Party of National Unity (PNU) President Highvee Hamududu says the abrupt 75 per cent increment in electricity tariffs will create shocks at household level because people’s salaries have remained the same.
And Hamududu says he wants to meet President Edgar Lungu to explain some of the things which a ruling party is expected to be doing.
Hamududu was speaking when he featured on UNZA Radio’s Lusaka Star programme yesterday.
“The issue of cost reflective tariffs is not debatable. If you want investment in the sub-sector, you need tariffs that can attract investment. That is simple economics unless people want to politic. But the only issue is that this adjustment must have been staggered maybe over three years, you can’t just wake up now and increase tariffs by 75 per cent that will create a shock because people’s salaries have not been increased, this year the increment was only four per cent. Therefore, the adjustment must be staggered over a number of years so that we don’t create a shock at household level,” Hamududu said.
“So in terms of cost reflective tariffs, we have no problem as PNU but we just have a problem in the way it has been adjusted; I mean what is with the hurry? There must be a cushioning with this adjustment and must be done gradually so that there is no shock at household because income has not been jumped to the level that electricity has been jumped and these things are happening together with the pending fuel increment. These things must be staggered over the years.”
Hamududu said he hoped the savings from the electricity tariff increment would not be abused.
“The other thing is that the savings from electricity and fuel subsidies must be explained where they are going. We want to see an impact of these things. We don’t want to see a fiscal space being created to wrong things, to finance expensive democratic structures, to finance abuse but we want this money to go to the people. Let this money support farmers, let this money go to student loans and towards improving accommodation for students at UNZA for example. These are colossal amounts of money and government owes the people of Zambia an explanation of where they want to take the savings coming from adjustment in electricity tariffs and in fuel subsidies,” Hamududu said.
And Hamududu said he wanted to meet President Lungu soon to explain to him some of the things that were expected of a ruling party.
“Let me make it very clear, you know sometimes we like to accuse Edgar Chagwa Lungu our President of the Republic of Zambia for things he has not done. I want to state here that we recognise Edgar Chagwa Lungu as President of this country as PNU but we don’t agree with him on policy implementation and we are hoping that we soon get to meet with him and be able to explain to his party some of the things that they must doing as a party in power. We have not been sponsored, we are an independent party which will stand against PF and possibly win in 2021,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hamududu has reiterated that he would not relent until unity was restored in Zambia.
“Ours is a party of national unity and after we have achieved that unity, we will not end there, we will then start building on national development so that we can become the Zambia that we want because as far as I know, PNU is smaller than Zambia, PF is Smaller than Zambia so in other words Zambia is bigger than any political party,” said Hamududu.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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