By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
The announcement of an over 200 percent hike in Zesa tariffs in the 2019 mid-term budget review statement has been received with anger by many.
Presenting the mid-term fiscal policy review on Thursday, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube revealed that government is proposing to increase Zesa tariffs starting next week for domestic users, non-exporting companies and the agriculture from the current $0.0986c/kWh to $0.27c/kWh, with that for mines from US$0.067/kWh and US$0.0986/kWh.
However, in an interview political activist, Lynette Mudehwe blasted the move arguing that there was no justification for the increase as long as the government has not dealt with the corruption at Zesa.
“Why must we the poor be made to pay for corruption that feeds the governing elite, debt payment first and increases later.
“We demand the Zesa debts records, an explanation on the AG’s report on US$9 million for transformers that were never delivered and the Chivhayo case,” she said.
Simbarashe Chareka from Budiriro said the increase in power tariff will also trigger rental increases as some landlords are in the habit of charging an inclusive (water, electricity and rentals)
“With this announcement, I have already braced myself for a possible rental hike as some of our landlords are in the habit of charging an inclusive fee for rent and electricity as well as water,” said Chareka.
Maxwell Mapungwana who works from Siyaso Market in Mbare said the tariff adjustment means he will also have to adjust his prices.
“There is no way I am going to beat these high tariffs but to charge more on the hoes I am making,” he said.
But for Charlotte Musandukwa from Highfield, the tariffs increase are ‘ridiculous’ given the load shedding that the country is currently faced with and she said she will continue to use charcoal.
“I don’t understand how we are being asked to pay for such exorbitant tariffs when electricity is rarely available,” she said.