By CHARLES MUSONDA
THE UPND government has no choice but to increase electricity tariffs and connection fees as part and parcel of its recommendations of its cost of service study and conditionalities of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Antonio Mwanza has said.
Mr Mwanza who is the Patriotic Front (PF) media director said it was clear that the new dawn administration had surrendered Zambia’s economic sovereignty into the hands of the IMF which would have to dictate how government was going to run its economic affairs.
Mr. Mwanza was reacting to a statement by Energy Regulation Board (ERB) board chairperson Reynolds Bowa that the imminent increment in electricity connection fees was inevitable as failure to do so would have an effect on Zesco operations.
He said for the ERB to host a public discussion on the proposed power tariffs increase was to allegedly hoodwink people that they were consulting because it was clear that the UPND had no authority on how best to govern because of the IMF conditions.
“The increments are killing the Zambians because you cannot increase production with such high cost of production. The industries that are supposed to create jobs cannot survive with such high tariffs. They are trying to kill the people, the Zambian entrepreneurs, and the Zambian businesses and youths who depend on production to have jobs,” Mr. Mwanza said.
He said the government cannot talk about cost reflective tariffs when the mines, who are the largest consumers of electricity, are being subsidised.