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BAILOUT ZESCO’

…IMPLEMENT ENERGY UTILITY REFORMS, GOVT ADVISED

By NOEL IYOMBWA

GOVERNMENT should bailout Zesco by actualising the energy utility reforms and implementing the cost effective tariffs, an energy expert Johnson Chikwanda has said.

Mr Chikwanda said that the UPND manifesto was clear on the energy sector such as the implementation of cost effective tariffs.

He said that once implemented, Zesco would be buying power from independent utility companies at reasonable tariffs which would eventually lead to savings and affordable supply to customers.

Mr Chikwanda said that the power utility was making losses because it had been buying power at an expensive rate from independent companies to meet the demand.

He said actualising energy reforms must be prioritised as it was the only way Zesco could be helped by the government.

Mr Chikwanda stressed the need for the government to reconsider certain power purchase agreements as a way of assisting the company.

He also called for the company to invest in other forms of energy in case there was a drought so that it could continue supplying power to its customers.

“Zesco should also invest in other forms of energy so that in case there is a drought it can continue supplying to customers but most importantly the government should implement cost effective tariffs and actualise the energy reforms.

“Government should also commission the remaining four units at Kafue Lower power station,” he added.

Meanwhile, economist Yusuf Dodia said Zesco should not be run as a commercial entity, but as a government institution.

He said that the company should incur losses hence the government should adequately fund the power utility company.

Mr Dodia observed that the company would be struggling if it continues operating as a commercial entity.

He said that Zesco was an entity that facilitates investment in the future, hence it should develop plans approved by lawmakers to be funded.

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