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Opinion / Columnist

Energy crisis: Government must simply dollarize

07 Oct 2019 at 17:15hrs | Views
The MDC notes with great concern the continuation of the escalating energy crisis in Zimbabwe that is being worsened by the cluelessness
of Mr Emerson Mnangagwa government in solving the country's multi-layered crisis.

The MDC notes that every Sunday since September 2019, there was a Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority ( ZERA) upward review of the
prices of fuel but at no point during the same month was there an announcement on salary increases. Four fuel price increases means four
increases in prices of goods and services and Zimbabweans simply can no longer cope. Such increases lead to higher expenditure on transport
for the poor families and they result in dwindling contributions to medical aid schemes, pension funds and family investments.

The MDC calls for the abolition of fuel-blending monopoly and reiterates its call for government to convene a multi stakeholder conference on
energy and power development in Zimbabwe. Government can no longer afford to ignore the need to increase participation of more players in
the fuel sector. Ideas on how best we can solve the energy crisis can only come from a conference of key actors both inside and outside of
government.

The MDC would wish to inquire from the Minister of Energy on whether or not the ZERA board meets to deliberate on these increases or they
are written by an individual from their jacuzzi on a Sunday afternoon.

Serious consideration must be made to address power allocation for the formal and informal mining sector as they are the main source of the
much needed foreign currency. The 45% foreign currency being retained by government should be ring-fenced for payment of electricity
importation for the key sectors of our economy.

Rural electrification should be stopped forthwith and government instead should invest in solar energy for the rural energy sector and the
government must offer incentives to encourage more investment in the use of solar energy.
 
Hon. Jasmine Toffa
Secretary for Energy and Power

Source - Jasmine Toffa
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