MINISTER, ZESCO BOARD CHAIR DIFFER – as Energy expert calls on President Hichilema to discipline Minister of Energy Peter Kapala and Zesco Board Chairperson Vickson Ncube
Energy expert Victor Hazemba has urged President Hakainde Hichilema to discipline Minister of Energy Peter Kapala and Zesco board chairman, Vickson Ncube for presenting contradictory statements over load shedding.
Mr Hazemba said it is worrisome that on one hand, Mr Kapala was insisting that President Hichilema was not misled on the status of load shedding and on the other, Mr Ncube had vicariously apologized to the nation for misleading the Head of State.
He said in an interview that the continued confusion in the energy sector was embarrassing to the Head of State and the new dawn government.
Mr Hazemba said President Hichilema should take action against Mr Kapala and Mr Ncube for misleading him over the energy deficit.
He warned that failure by Mr Hichilema to take action against Mr Kapala and Mr Ncube would result in Zambians losing confidence in the new dawn administration and make it difficult for citizens to believe any future government assurances.
Speaking when he featured on Hot FM radio recently, Mr Kapala is reported as having said it is unfortunate that Mr Ncube decided to apologise to Zambians and President Hakainde Hichilema over load shedding because the head of State was given accurate information about the load shedding the country has been experiencing.
Mr Kapala said President Hichilema was not misled over the status of electricity deficit the country was experiencing and that the head of State’s assurance to Zambians that load shedding had ended was based on accurate electricity generation capacity.
“The President (Hichilema) was not misled and he was told the facts that the country produces over 3000 megawatts but 80 percent of this is hydro generated. This means that we depend on water. It is unfortunate that the Zesco board chairman (Victor Ncube) apologized because the President was not misled. He (President Hichilema) was given correct information on which he had based his assurance to Zambians that load shedding had ended,” Mr Kapala said.
He said President Hichilema was not misled over the status of electricity deficit the country was experiencing and that the head of State’s assurance to Zambians that load shedding had ended was based on accurate electricity generation capacity.
The Minister explained that at the time President Hichilema was informing the nation that load shedding was a thing of the past, the country had enough electricity and was even exporting its surplus but natural factors could not have been foreseen by the head of State or technocrats.
Mr Kapala said that unlike the apology from ZESCO board chairperson Vickson Ncube who apologised and took the blame for the current woes, the president was given the true picture that the country had the capacity to produce more power than it consumed.
He explained that natural factors such as the limitation of the amount of hydrology get into the Kariba Dam could not be predicted whose resultant effect a sudden electricity deficit was leading to load shedding. He said that indeed all things being equal, the country was not supposed to experience load shedding because it had the capacity to produce more than what was needed.
Mr Kapala insisted that Mr Ncube’s statement that President Hichilema was misled was inaccurate.
And Mr Kapala has announced that the load shedding hours are expected to be reduced further to average six hours and shall be implemented in the intervals of three hours every 24 hours.
The Minister said that he expected the load shedding hours to reduce to six hours in the next couple weeks in a bid to enhance the country’s productivity.
He said that Zambia would be importing power from Mozambique and that the money had already been paid for about 100 megawatts of electricity.Mr Kapala said that the hours would be divided into three hour intervals in order to lessen the burden on the Zambian population.