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Govt will inform nation whether or not fuel prices will be increased – Wina

VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina has told Parliament that her government will inform the nation in due course on whether prices of fuel will be adjusted or not.

Responding to a question by Chifubu member of parliament Frank Ng’ambi, during the Vice-President’s question time, whether the government had intention to revise the price of fuel amidst the depreciated Kwacha against other convertible currencies, Vice-President Wina said the price of petroleum products were determined by market forces and without government intervention.

She said fuel prices in Zambia were mainly adjusted based on international oil prices and Kwacha exchange rate against the US dollar.

She said the government would soon update the nation on the status quo.

“The ERB uses the cost plus model to determine the prices of fuel. The recent volatility in the change rate will be analysed in tandem with the movement in the international oil prices before decisions are made. Therefore, in accordance with the government policy to review the fuel prices every sixty-days, government will inform the nation in due course on whether prices of fuel will be adjusted or not,” said Vice-President Wina.

Moomba Constituency lawmaker Fred Chaatila asked the Vice-President when the Zambian government was getting a refund from Eskom since the South Africa electricity firm was facing problems supplying Zambia the agreed 300MW power.

“Your government paid Eskom 27million dollars for the importation of power. Now there are reports in the media that Eskom is facing challenges and they cannot supply us with this electricity. I wanted to find out from you when are we getting back this money so that we can use it for other purposes?” asked Chaatila.

Vice-President responded that Zambians have politised the effects of climate change.

She said US$27 million which the Zambian government paid the to allow Eskom supply power does not mean the utility had not utilised it, but South Africa was equally affected with climate change.

“When we informed the national that the whole of SADC has been affected by the impact of climate change, people don’t want to accept for political reasons. South Africa is equally affected just like Zambia. And Mozambique, we saw the floods in that area. Zimbabwe was the same and many countries in SADC are suffering from shortage of power,” said Vice-President Wina.

“Indeed it was paid and it was used by Eskom. The fact that there has been some reduction in load shedding in some areas, particularly supply to some mining companies does not mean that Eskom has not utilised the money that we sent to that country. We have to meet those obligations of ensuring that the Zambian economy is not further disadvantaged due to load management. Luckily for the house, the Minister of Energy gave a full detailed statement on the states of load-shedding in the country.”

And Mitete member of parliament Mishek Mutelo asked the Vice-President what he would tell his people over the road and other projects that had not been done, now that Parliament was adjourning.

He further asked on whether he would tell the people that government had failed to construct a road due to climate change.

But Vice-President Wina said it was time the government considered revisiting projects under the Link Zambia 8000 project.

She assured Mutelo that roads in Mitete would be one of the priority projects.

“Madam Speaker, the member of parliament for Mitete has actually provided the answer himself. He can choose from the many options that he has provided… This government is committed to upgrading the road infrastructure in the country. And Katunda-Lukulu up to Watopa into Kambompo road. It is not a forgotten issue, government is still considering all these roads. They put in different categories of development in the Link Zambia 8000,” said Vice-President Wina.

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