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Power tariffs hike saga

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    #1
    Jan 4, 2008
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
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    Power tariffs hike saga: Now Karume enters the fray in Zanzibar

    -Seeks more info on possible repercussions

    THISDAY REPORTER
    Dar es Salaam

    ZANZIBAR President Amani Abeid Karume has summoned some of his top aides to discuss the new power tariffs increase, it has been revealed.

    Reports from Zanzibar said Karume beckoned senior officials from the Isles Ministry of Water, Construction, Energy & Lands and the Zanzibar State Fuel and Power Corporation (ZSFPC) to State House there yesterday afternoon.

    A senior official in the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government told THISDAY by phone from the island that the Isles president had called the officials over ’’to brief him on the recent increase of power tariffs and how it is likely to affect the people of Zanzibar.’’

    It is understood that the Minister for Water, Construction, Energy and Lands, Mansour Yussuf Himid, was a prominent presence at the meeting along with ZSFPC General Manager Suleiman Ali Juma and other senior officials.

    There is a high-level concern within both the Union and Zanzibar Governments that the 21.7 per cent power tariffs hike, announced by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) for implementation by the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO), could have serious social repercussions given already-skyrocketing costs of living.

    With rising fuel prices already driving up inflation figures, the general thinking is that few Tanzanians will be able to afford the new rates for power connection and consumption.

    ’’This is like a double-edged sword for the two governments. If the new power tariffs are allowed to be implemented, it could trigger a serious political backlash for those in the seats of leadership. At the same time, if the tariff increase is blocked, the development partners will probably not be very amused,’’ one social analyst told THISDAY.

    In Zanzibar where economic hardships are more pronounced compared to mainland Tanzania, the government has historically had to subsidise power and water supply to its citizens. This has left the Zanzibar State Fuel and Power Corporation with an accumulation of huge debts and arrears to TANESCO, which has been supplying power to the island through a marine cable.

    By the first quarter of 2006, the Zanzibar power company’s accumulated debts and arrears to TANESCO stood at a staggering 19bn/-, according to official figures.

    Just two years ago, the Zanzibar Government hiked power tariffs by 25 per cent, citing soaring operational costs incurred by ZSFPC.

    The marine cable linking Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland was laid in 1979 with a capacity of 45 megawatts, but so far Zanzibar uses only 30 megawatts.

    Zanzibar’s main island of Unguja gets its main electricity supply from Tanzania mainland’s national power grid through Fumba area from the Rasikiromoni power station. The smaller Pemba island depends on thermal generators.

    TANESCO itself has publicly announced that it is experiencing financial haemorrhaging due to the fact that the pre-existing power tariffs were too low, thus causing its operational costs to outstrip actual revenue.

    Subsequently, TANESCO had applied for a 40 per cent tariffs hike from EWURA, which however, scaled it down to 21.7 per cent.

    Apart from the tariffs raise, the regulator also gave the greenlight for an increase in service connection fees by between 66 and 215 per cent.

    According to EWURA, the new power tariffs which were expected to take effect from January 1 this year will enable TANESCO to collect an estimated 56bn/- a year, which should help cover operational and maintenance costs and boost its capacity to generate and supply electricity.

    Senior officials from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals in Dar es Salaam recently met with their Zanzibar counterparts and EWURA representatives over the new tariffs.
     
  2. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    #2
    Jan 4, 2008
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
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    EWURA yanawa mikono kuhusu bei kali ya umeme Zanzibar

    2008-01-04 19:06:37
    Na Mary Wejja, Jijini


    Kaimu Mkurugenzi mkuu wa Mamlaka ya udhibiti na usimamizi wa huduma za Nishati na Maji, EWURA, Bw.Charles Omuguni, amebainisha kuwa EWURA haihusiki na malalamiko yaliyotolewa na Shirika la umeme la Zanzibarm ZECO dhidi yao kwa kuwa sheria ya mamlaka hiyo ni ya bara na si ya muungano.

    Akasema, si jukumu la EWURA kumtambua nani ni mteja wa shirika la umeme TANESCO, hivyo EWURA ilitekeleza wajibu wake kwa kutoa nafasi kwa kila mdau kutoa maoni yake kuhusiana na mapendekezo ya TANESCO ya kuongeza gharama za umeme kwa kiwango cha asilimia 40.

    ``Kulikuwa na mchakato wa kukusanya maoni kutoka kwa wananchi na wadau mbalimbali, ambao ulifanyika katika kanda tano... sasa kama wao (ZECO) hawakujitokeza kuwasilisha maoni yao kwa kipindi chote cha kukusanya maoni, EWURA haina nafasi tena ya kubadili maamuzi yaliyotolewa, `` akasema.

    Aidha, akasema kuwa malalamiko hayo ya Serikali ya mapinduzi ya Zanzibar kupitia shirika lake la umeme, ZECO, yametokana na walalamikaji kutoelewa utaratibu wa EWURA.

    Akasema, Zanzibar walikuwa na nafasi ya kuwasilisha maoni yao wakati wa mchakato wa kukusanya maoni ya wananchi na kubainisha kuwa, si jukumu la EWURA kutambua mdau gani hajawasilisha maoni yake wakati wa mchakato wa kukusanya maoni.

    ``Tunatoa maamuzi kwa kuzingatia maoni... Zanzibar hawajawahi kutoa tamko lolote wakati wa mchakato wa ukusanyaji wa maoni kwa wananchi. Hivyo malalamiko yao ya sasa hayawezi kubadili maamuzi yaliyotolewa na EWURA,`` akasema.

    Hata hivyo, amesema katika kipindi chote cha ukusanyaji wa maoni hadi kufikia hatua ya kutoa maamuzi, shirika la TANESCO halijawahi kutoa tamko lolote kwa EWURA kuhusiana na kutoiingiza Zanzibar katika mchakato huo.

    Akasema kutokana na hali hiyo, EWURA haihusiki katika sakata hilo na badala yake, ni jukumu la TANESCO kukaa meza moja na ZECO, na kufanya mazungumzo ili kujua ni namna gani watalipatia ufumbuzi tatizo hilo.

    Aidha, Bw. Omuguni pia amebainisha kuwa EWURA imetoa siku 14 kuanzia Desemba 29 mwaka jana kwa wadau wasioridhika na maamuzi yaliyotolewa na EWURA, kuwasilisha pingamizi zao katika chombo cha sheria cha Fair Competition Tribunal (FCT) ili EWURA iweze kuweka utaratibu wa kuzisikiliza.

    Hivi akribuni, TANESCO ilitangaza ongezeko la bei ya umeme wake ambapo kwa upande wa Bara, gharama zimeongezwa kwa asilimia 21.7 wakati kwa Zanzibar, TANESCO imeongeza bei hiyo kwa asilimia zaidi ya 100.

    SOURCE: Alasiri
     
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