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Energy crisis: Govt must simply dollarise

Jasmine Toffa

THE MDC notes with great concern the continuation of the escalating energy crisis in Zimbabwe that is being worsened by the cluelessness of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government in solving the country’s multi-layered crisis.

The MDC notes that every Sunday since September 2019, there is 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 the 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 (Fortune Chasi) 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.

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