Zimbabweans have dismissed as misguided efforts by Energy Minister Samuel Undenge to increase power tariffs by at least 30 percent at a time capacity production is being seriously affected by load shedding while local people are failing to settle current electricity bills.
According to state-controlled newspaper, Undenge has approached government with a view of increasing power tariffs claiming that electricity production costs have gone up.
No specific figures have been given by the minister, who is facing challenges of boosting the capacity of local energy firms that are failing to cope with power demand.
Several industrialists said the proposed power tariffs would cripple the already struggling companies in the country that at times have to reduce production due to load shedding.
At the same time, local people like Ambrose Mlilo of the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association said Zimbabweans will resist the minister’s moves to increase power charges.
Mlilo said, “We have noticed that every time there is load shedding factories almost close in the central business district and so they end up failing to produce required commodities for several hours.
“Apart from that the economy is really not working well and so increasing the tariffs will suffocate local people.”
Zimbabwe has a daily electricity demand of 2,200 mega watts against the current capacity of 1,100, leaving it with a huge deficit resulting in frequent power outages.