UNBUNDLING of ZESCO will push up the cost of electricity beyond the reach of many people, says former National Energy Sector and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (NESAWUZ)general secretary Yotam Mtayachalo.
Mr Mtayachalo said it was not the first time that the World Bank had suggested that Zesco should be unbundled and sold to the private sector, saying such a move would disadvantage the public and other stakeholders.
He instead appealed to foreign investors to come to Zambia and build their own power utility companies to enable them export power to other deficit countries.
“My appeal is that these foreign investors should be allowed to implement their own power systems, instead of wanting to take over the already existing one, which will affect Zambian consumers,” he said.
He said the general public should realise that if Zesco was unbundled and sold to the private sector, it would have adverse consequences that would be felt by them at the end of the day.
Mr Mtayachalo said investors should not try to work against the interest of Zambians who would feel the impact because investors were only interested in profits. He said the demand for power in many African countries was high, and therefore it would work to the advantage of investors if they were to implement their own power generation programmes to meet the demand and not using Zesco as alternative.
“As much as we are concerned the current Zesco tariffs are so high that they are beyond the reach of the many Zambians but there is no guarantee that unbundling of ZESCO will benefit the local people,” he said.
He called on the Government to consider increasing the budget allocation for the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) projects so that all the rural people had access to power.