President Hichilema Addresses Press on Procurement, Energy Crisis, and Infrastructure

President Hakainde Hichilema held a press conference yesterday at State House, addressing several critical issues affecting the nation. Here are the highlights:

Prudent Resource Use: The President directed Controlling Officers and public service workers in Procurement Departments to continue using resources prudently. This measure aims to ensure accountability and efficiency in the use of public funds.

Energy Crisis Measures: Major steps have been taken to address the country’s energy crisis, including initiatives to provide lifeline power supply for small businesses in communities severely affected by energy insecurity due to the El Nino-induced drought. The President reiterated that hospitals should not be subjected to load shedding.

Maamba Collieries Phase II: President Hichilema disclosed that the Maamba Collieries phase II, with a production capacity of 300 Megawatts, will soon be launched. He noted that US$90 million had been secured for the project, which is expected to significantly boost the nation’s power supply.

Solar Product Prices: The government expects companies selling solar products to reduce their prices, as the government has zero-rated tax on solar equipment. This move is aimed at making solar energy more accessible and affordable for Zambians.

Selling Excess Power: Citizens who can generate excess power are encouraged to sell it to the national grid. The operationalization of open access electricity means that ZESCO Limited is obligated to supply the electricity generated by these citizens.

Assurance Amid Challenges: The President assured the nation that it would pull through the challenges brought about by the drought, emphasizing his belief that “God would not give Zambia a load it could not carry.”

Government Vehicles Usage: President Hichilema overrode a pronouncement made by Secretary to the Cabinet, Patrick Kangwa, regarding the use of government vehicles. He stated that civil servants must have access to transport 24/7 to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery.

President Hichilema’s press conference provided critical updates and assurances as the nation navigates through its current challenges, highlighting the government’s commitment to addressing key issues affecting Zambians.

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