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MPs push for emergency plan out of power crisis

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Jul 17, 2011
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    [TD="class: contentheading, width: 100%"]MPs push for emergency plan out of power crisis [/TD]
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    [TD="class: createdate"]Friday, 15 July 2011 22:24 [/TD]

    By The Citizen team

    MPs yesterday stepped up the pressure on the government to adopt an inclusive emergency plan to end the ongoing power crisis. The Energy and Minerals Committee and the Opposition demanded that a national response strategy be drawn up and implemented, saying this was the surest way to tackle chronic electricity shortages.Several MPs who debated the Energy and Minerals ministry’s 2011/12 budget proposals concurred that the situation called for extraordinary measures to save the economy from imminent collapse.

    Some said the government alone could not be relied upon to lead the way out of the crisis.Energy and Minerals minister William Ngeleja and his deputy, Mr Adam Malima, were on the receiving end of a torrent of criticism as charged MPs from both sides faulted the government’s handling of the situation and other issues pertaining to electricity.

    Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda and several ministers were present in the debating chamber that was almost filled to capacity during one of the most eagerly awaited ministerial budget presentations and debates.The leader of the Official Opposition, Mr Freeman Mbowe, declared that the government had “lost legitimacy to preside over national affairs”, and asked President Kikwete to appoint into his government experts from outside the political arena to help solve the energy problem.

    “What we need now is a national taskforce drawing expertise from the private sector and other spheres in response to this emergency,” said Mr Mbowe, who added that politicians could no longer be trusted when the country’s productive sectors were crumbling. However, Mr Mbowe’s remarks immediately drew the ire of the Government Chief Whip, Mr Wiliam Lukuvi, who accused the Hai MP of “politicking.”

    “CCM is ruling on the strength of the mandate handed to it by voters, and will continue to govern even as you politic,” said Mr Lukuvi, who is also the minister of State responsible for Policy Co-ordination.The Isimani MP also refuted Mr Mbowe’s claim that the government was divided over the approach to end the power crisis.

    Earlier, the chairman of the Energy and Minerals Committee, Mr January Makamba, and Energy and Minerals shadow minister John Mnyika proposed solutions.The two faulted some of the strategies presented by Mr Ngeleja, who asked Parliament to approve some Sh402.4 billion, of which Sh325.45 billion is for development projects.
    Mr Ngeleja outlined a catalogue of electric generating projects lined up to curb the power shortage. The projects include eleven long term projects expected to be completed within the next few years. He said the projects when completed would generate a total 2,659MW.

    The minister told Parliament that Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) had been implementing emergency plans to ease the crisis.Mr Mnyika called for a supplementary budget for electricity and gas projects and reiterated the need for a taskforce mandated by Parliament. However, Mr Pinda on Thursday termed such a plan as “needless.”
    Mr Makamba, whose presentation won rare praise from the Opposition, offers proposals for a quick solution, and cautioned the government that time was running out.

    “The government told Parliament in February that 260MW of emergency power supply would be in place by July, but unfortunately that has not happened. We want an explanation why this is the case,” he said.He also proposed a national emergency plan with a view to immediately acquiring 500MW additional generation to match the State’s declaration of the power situation as a national disaster. “This crisis is equal to if not more than the economic crisis that saw government respond with a Sh1.7 trillion injection into the economy.”

    He said a re-allocation should be made to raise Sh28 billion to enable Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) run at full capacity, noting that the “paltry” Sh12 billion allocation in the budget would only see the plant shut down after only a month. Mr Makamba also called for the establishment of a special fund for major energy projects and separate allocation for the Rural Energy Agency.

    He lamented that over the last seven years, only 145MW have been added to the national grid yet the national demand was growing by 100MW annually. He blamed bureaucracy and lack of proper incentives for the lacklustre participation by private sector for over a decade. He called for an end to monopoly enjoyed by Songas and Pan African Energy in the drilling and supply of gas.

    Mr Makamba further warned that Tanesco’s procurement of 160MW generators could become a “white elephant” if urgent measures were not taken to ensure sufficient supply of gas for Dar es Salaam and furnace oil for Mwanza.

    MPs who spoked yesterday included Mrs Anne Kilango-Malecela (Same East-CCM), Mr George Simbachawene (Kibakwe-CCM), Ms Agripina Buyogera (Kasulu Rural-NCCR-Mageuzi), Mr James Lembeli (Kahama-CCM) and Mr Zitto Kabwe (Kigoma North-Chadema).

    The fiery Mrs Kilango-Malecela accused Mr Ngeleja of favouring regions represented by ministers in the allocation of electricity projects. She said the ministry should bite off what it could chew by sticking to manageable projects. She urged MPs to join hands as the public was suffering.

    Mr Simbachawene said solutions rather than condemnations were the way forward, while Mr Buyogera and Mr Lembeli said rural electrification should go hand in hand with other economic activities.Mr Kabwe wondered why he was criticised in the past for suggesting that Dowans, now Symbion, be purchased by the government. The debate resumes on Monday.

  2. K

    Kamundu JF-Expert Member

    Jul 17, 2011
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    Tanzania tumekwisha! MPs wanataka Goverment iwe na Plan badala ya MPs wenyewe kuwa na plan!!!. Kazi mojawapo ya MP ni kuweza kuwa na plan zako halafu kuzipeleka bungeni ili ziweze kujadiliwa na kupitishwa. Mnasema Govermrnt iwe na plan wakati tunajua fika kwamba Govermrnt haina watu wenye uwezo wa kuwa na plan!. Kama mtu una plan itoe badala ya kufikiria kila kitu goverment kufanya hadi plan. MPs kazi yao ni nini hasa!!!!