Deputy Speaker of Parliament Catherine Namugala has ordered Energy Minister Mathews Nkhuwa to update the nation on the current electricity situation the in the country.
Namugala was ruling on a point of order raised by Monze Central member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu, who asked if the Energy Minister was in order to remain quiet without briefing the nation on what happened to the imported power from Eskom of South Africa when people in the country were facing worse hours of load shedding.
“Madam Speaker when the President of the Republic came to this House he made pronouncements pertaining to the power outages in this country; and there after the Minister of Energy made a pronouncement outside and in this House that contingent measures were being put in place to alleviate the electricity shortage in this country. I am also aware that the Ministry of Finance did announce that the government has sourced an amount of money in excess of $27 million to pay Eskom in order for the government of Zambia to pay for the electricity. Further the Ministry of Energy also assured the nation that in actual fact the other $8 million that was paid to Eskom was for the arrears and the arrears were cleared and that the balance was for the importation of power from South Africa. He did assure us, Madam Speaker, that power will be available within one week,” said Mwiimbu.
“Madam Speaker to date most of our people in the various localities are experiencing a worsening situation in terms of the supply of power. In certain instances and in certain circumstances members of the public don’t receive power for more than 24 hours. The issue that needs an answer from the honourable member of parliament and Minister of Energy is to explain to the nation; is he in order, madam Speaker, to have assured this House that certain measures were being done to alleviate the suffering of the people and also to ensure that industries are energised when in actual fact nothing is being done, the situation is worse. Is he in order to remain quiet without briefing the nation as to what has happened to the payment that was made to Eskom who have a very serious problem in South Africa? Is he in order to keep quiet when the situation is getting worse?”
In her ruling Namugala said it was important for the Minister to update parliament and the nation before the House adjourns next week.
“My ruling: Due to the fact that the House is scheduled to adjourn sine die next week and that this matter of electricity supply is of great concern to not just honourable members in this House but to the people out there. The honourable Minister of energy will come to this House on Friday to update the House and the nation on the situation concerning electricity supply, as well as the many statements that have been made inside this House as well as outside. That is my ruling.”