THE Power Generation and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (POGAWUZ) has accused Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma of interfering with the operations of Zesco which is having challenges in the management of the current electricity crisis.
POGAWUZ has given Mr Yaluma a 48-hour ultimatum in which to constitute a new board of directors at the power utility company or the union would have no choice but to believe that the minister had allowed the chaos at Zesco because he was allegedly a beneficiary from the crisis.
In a statement signed by POGAWUZ president Thomas Nyendwa, his secretary general Mutakelwa Lubita and treasurer Ronald Ponda, the trio accused Mr Yaluma of overstepping his advisory role and was interfering with the executive decisions at Zesco.
Mr Nyendwa, Mr Lubita and Mr Ponda said they were deeply concerned with the conduct of Mr Yaluma who was making statements on the executive decisions of Zesco which they stated were ordinarily the preserve of the board of directors.
They said the importation of the contaminated crude oil which result into the shutting of Indeni Refinery was done under the supervision of Mr Yaluma and that he was therefore the last person to demand the resignation of management at Zesco.
The three POGAWUZ leaders said Mr Yaluma should not fall into the temptation of overstepping his supervisory role because the workers did not want to begin to believe that the Energy and Water Develoment minister had allowed the situation at Zesco because he was a beneficiary of the chaotic situation.
The POCAWUZ leaders said Mr Yaluma should constitute a board of directors at Zesco within 48 hours instead of asking management at the institution to resign if load shedding was going to perpetuate beyond November this year.
“The union objects to the recent pronouncement by Mr Yaluma to have Zesco management step down if the current power deficit in the country will persist beyond October. The union has further noted with grave concern Mr Yaluma’s conduct of overstepping his supervisory role and is interfering with the executive decisions of Zesco which ordinarily are a preserve of the board. We do not want to conclude that he is the beneficiary of this chaotic situation he has deliberately allowed. We want him to constitute the board within 48 hours instead of making wild statements when corrosive crude oil was procured right under his nose,” the POGAWUZ statement said.
They explained that for the last seven months since the Zesco board was dissolved, the situation at Zesco had been worsening because some of the critical decisions that could have been made by the board to smoothen the operations of the institution had not been made. Efforts to get Mr Yaluma failed as his mobile phone was switched off.