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ZIMBABWE QUADRUPLES ELECTRICITY PRICES AMID BLACKOUTS

Zimbabwe has raised its average electricity tariff by 320 percent to ramp up power supplies at a time of daily blackouts but the move will likely anger consumers already grappling with soaring inflation and stagnant wages.

The southern African country is experiencing its worst economic crisis in 10 years, seen in triple-digit inflation, 18-hour power cuts and shortages of US dollars, medicines and fuel that have evoked the dark days of the 2008 hyperinflation under late President Robert Mugabe.

Wednesday’s was the second increase in the price of electricity inside three months and follows sharp rises in fuel and basic goods prices in the last week. Salaries have not kept pace, prompting citizens to blame President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s policies for the crisis.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) said it had approved an application by Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) to raise the tariff to 162.16 cents ($0.11) from 38.61 cents.

ZERA said the tariff rise was necessary after inflation soared – the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it was about 300 percent in August. Zimbabwe introduced an interim sovereign currency – the Real Time Gross Settlement dollar or Zimdollar – in February which quickly fell prey to black market speculation.

In an effort to support the Zimdollar, the government in June outlawed the use of foreign currencies in local transactions. But the move failed to curb the Zimdollar’s slide.

Consumers seem set for more price increases after the energy regulator said that, starting November, the power utility would index its tariff to the US dollar to enable it “to recover from inflation and exchange rate changes”.

The new tariff would allow ZETDC to raise money to repair its generators, as well as pay for imports from South Africa’s Eskom and Mozambique which cost $19.5m every month, the regulator said.

Hopes that Zimbabwe’s economy would quickly rebound under Mnangagwa, who took over after the late Robert Mugabe was deposed in a coup in November 2017, have faded fast as ordinary people grapple with eye-watering inflation that has eroded earnings and savings.

On Monday, treasury data showed the economy was worse off than initially thought. It is now projected to contract by up to six percent this year due to the power cuts, which have hit mines, industry and homes and an El Nino-induced drought that has left the country needing to import food.

Mnangagwa, whom critics accuse of lacking commitment to political reforms and using his predecessor’s heavy-handed tactics to stifle dissent, has pleaded for time and patience to bring the economy back from the “dead.”

SOURCE: REUTERS NEWS AGENCY

11 Comments

  1. Leonard

    I see Someone compying the hike from Zimbabwe and increase by 400%

    Reply
  2. mathews

    This zimbabwean leader why cant he just resign.

    Reply
  3. Winnipeg Nyirongo

    This is Sanctioned Country so we can’t blame the Leadership of Zimbabwe but the electorates for Voting a wrong Political Party. The Zimbabweans could have voted for MDC Leader not Emerson Mnangagwa because this Man was in the administration of Robert Gabriel Mugabe so he cannot change anything. Our dear friends in Zimbabwe, wake up and vote for someone else unlike Emerson neither anyone in ZANU-PF because this Political Party will kill you and your economy. Thanks

    Reply
  4. SEE MIND (MWAMPO)

    TWO NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES PROBLEMS SAME CRISIS ECONOMIES. TWO LEADERS POOR LEADRSHIP. NO VISIONS !!!

    Reply
  5. Impyakusu ichinyo

    That is pf everywhere ma problems

    Reply
  6. Ba Five kwacha

    Zimbambwe gorvt ,just the same of zambia, zambia its were the davil stay in state house, zimbambwe its were the davil having banks for two countries, keeping money, and mind set, its over,

    Reply
  7. Razor

    I urge our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe not to despair as we will be catching up with you soon.

    Reply
  8. chips

    Yayayaya💘💘

    Reply
  9. Ronda Rousy

    Hope this doesn’t happen to Zambia

    Reply
  10. King cool

    Hello ladies and gentlemen, please remember what God did to the children of Israel, All people who were above 21 years did not enter Canaan only 20 years and below, they rebelled against Moses and God. So this is the time to come back to God and confess our sins and purify ourselves,for God to rescind He decision and have mercy on us

    Reply
  11. Agogo

    That is what happens with centrist controlled economies. The government cannot run businesses. It was the same with UNIP in Zambia , until when the MMD came into power and liberalized the economy that is when things changed in Zambia. But the pf started the same old policies of UNIP this is why you are seeing this nonsense again in Zambia today!

    Reply

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