Lawrence Chitumba Correspondent
VICE PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga has urged the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) and ZESA to consider reducing their tariffs, which he said are impeding the accelerated development of the economy.
Vice President Chiwenga recently led a high-powered Government delegation to Kanyemba in Mashonaland Central for a strategic development meeting, where 2 000 hectares of land are earmarked for irrigation as part of efforts to transform the economy in line with the Zanu-PF’s 2018 pro-business election manifesto.
In his address to heads of Government departments in Mashonaland Central who attended the meeting, Vice President Chiwenga said the high levies and tariffs had a crippling effect on bulk users of electricity and water, especially in the agricultural and other production sectors.
“I am appealing to the relevant ministries which superintend over ZINWA and ZESA to reduce the levies and tariffs as they are an impediment to the accelerated development of the economy,” said Vice President Chiwenga.
“As you can see, all the water is flowing down the river and into the ocean without being utilised because of the high tariffs that are charged by ZINWA. Why can’t you charge lower tariffs, which the farmers can afford so that at least you can get something out of the water, while the farmers utilise the water for the country’s economic benefit.
“The same thing happens with electricity, which when generated cannot be stored and as such most of it is not being fully utilised because businesses and farmers cannot afford the high tariffs.
“Why not charge affordable levies so that farmers and industry fully utilise the electricity for the benefit of the country while at the same time you realise some profits.”
Speaking at the same occasion, out going Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Provincial Affairs Advocate Martin Dinha said the provision of affordable and reliable sources of power for Kanyemba was strategic as it is one of the country’s economic enablers.
He said other key economic enablers included the provision of roads infrastructure, the physical presence of Government, security establishments and telecommunications.