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Zimbabwean Consumers And Businesses Face 50% Electric Rate Rise

The cost of electricity for both consumers and businesses in Zimbabwe has risen 50%, the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company announced on Tuesday.

Domestic users will see fixed monthly charges rise to Z$48,000, about US$1. Many Zimbabweans earn little more than Z$300,000 a month, and some even less.

The company, part of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, or ZESA, said the rate rise was needed to offset inflation and that more increases are in store.

ZESA is grappling with power shortages due to continued generator breakdowns. The state utility has also been importing power but its financial resources are strained.

Economist Luckmore Zinyama told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the parastatal is trying to control a commodity that it does not have because it is failing to supply consumers and businesses with power.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...