The opposition Forum Democracy and Development (FDD) has described as flabbergasting the statement attributed to Republican President Edgar Lungu that the country is better off importing electricity from South Africa.
In a statement Party Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said not only is the statement from the Head of State shocking but that it is also tragic that it is coming from a leader.
He said a serious government should know that electricity is a strategic national development commodity which countries world over are investing in.
“The statement by President Edgar Lungu that we should just be importing electricity from South Africa instead of building our own power plants is not only shocking but tragic, considering that it has come from the head of state. Electricity is a strategic commodity for national development and national security and all serious governments are investing billions of dollars in power generation to ensure sustainable development and national security.
He said the country is in the current economic crisis partly as a result of power deficit which has led to jobs loses due to load shedding.
“We are in an economic crisis right now partly as a result of power deficits. Thousands of jobs have been lost and small and medium scale businesses continue to close or pruning their workforce as a result of the continued load shedding; we are losing almost 20 million dollars every month on electricity imports and to hear the President say it’s better for us to be depending on South Africa for our energy source is flabbergasting. Maybe there is something that is motivating about import deals involving electricity that the public is not aware of. But with such kind of thinking on the part of those that have been tasked with the responsibility of providing leadership to our country, Zambia is doomed.
He said the country has the potential to generate enough electricity for both the country’s needs as well as for export.
“We have potential to generate, transmit and distribute enough electricity to satisfy the local needs as well as exporting to other countries, South Africa inclusive but because of lack of vision and failure to plan on the part of our leaders, almost 80% of Zambians live in the dark with no power to unlock their regional and individual potential for production, growth and sustainable development.
“Now we understand why the Eurobond money which was aimed at improving the generating capacity of Zesco can not be accounted for,” he said.