The Public Policy Research Institute of Zimbabwe (PRIZ), a think tank organisation based in Bulawayo in collaboration with Bulawayo Agenda (BA), Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) and National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) will tomorrow (Thursday 20 February 2014) host a meeting to discuss corruption in parastatals. The meeting, to be held at Rainbow Hotel from 0900-1200 hours seeks to deliberate on the challenges facing parastatals in the country and how civil society can play a more effective watchdog role in the sector in light of revelations of corruption, mismanagement and looting. It will dwell on public accountability and corporate governance issues.
The meeting shall run under the theme “Fostering Public Accountability and Corporate Governance in Zimbabwe: Unpacking the “Salary Gate” in State Enterprises and Parastatals.” The speakers are; Dr Gorden Moyo (MP) legislator and former minister of Parastatals and State Enterprises, Dr Peter Nkala, Director of the Institute of Development Studies at NUST and Dr Cornelius Ncube who lectures at Lupane State University. Invited guests include journalists, members of civil society, academics, the business fraternity, church leaders and members of the public.
The meeting comes at a time when a number of state enterprises and local authorities have been dogged by allegations of corruption and misuse of funds through huge salaries by senior managers.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association
Bus. Tel: +263 9 61196
Cell: +263 772 516 729
BOX 2146 LAPH HOUSE TEL : 09 61196
BULAWAYO 8TH FLOOR SUITE 803 FAX : 09 888211
ZIMBABWE 8TH AVE, BTWN J.Moyo & FIFE ST CELL : 0772 516 729 / 0775 233 581 E-MAIL: email@example.com/
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA)
Date: 6 February 2014
Contact: Emmanuel Ndlovu
Advocacy and Programmes Manager
0775 233 581
Proposed ZETDC Tariff Increase Unacceptable
The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) believes that the request by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) to increase tariffs by 16 percent is unacceptable and should be rejected by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) and Zimbabweans at large. ZETDC has formally applied for a tariff increase of 16 percent to ZERA in line with the Electricity Act citing the fact that there has only been one significant tariff increase since dollarization in 2009 while the current tariff rates had become untenable for its operations. The company argues that a marginal increase would be detrimental to its operations in the long term and has highlighted that it suffered losses from 2009 to 2013.
BPRA however believes that a tariff increase of 16 percent is tantamount to holding electricity consumers at ransom in light of the country’s economic climate which is characterised by high unemployment and poor remuneration of civil servants who constitute a large proportion of the working population. As such, most people would not be able to cope with a tariff increase as they are constrained by a harsh economic environment. In cities like Bulawayo this has been worsened by rapid deindustrialisation and low levels of development. It is also BPRA’s reasoned opinion that an electricity tariff increase is imprudent as it would lead to magnification of inequalities since many areas now utilise prepaid meters meaning that the rich will be able to use as much electricity as they want while the poor will be subject to long periods without electricity.
BPRA thus calls upon ZERA and Zimbabweans at large to reject the proposal by ZETDC to increase tariffs. It makes no sense to the association that electricity charges be increased by 16 percent when generally salaries have remained static while inflation is only at 4,6 percent. The association instead urges the power utility to speed up the process of installing prepaid electricity meters as use of the technology could help the parastatal increase its revenue flows thus minimizing its monetary challenges.
Bulawayo residents made it clear that the move to increase tariffs was not welcome in the city at a consultative meeting with ZETDC and ZERA last Friday (31 January 2013). ZERA has been conducting meetings around the country to gather the views of stakeholders on their take on the proposed tariff hike before it makes a decision on the matter.
BPRA Advocacy and Programmes Manager