Zimbabwe’s new energy minister Fortune Chasi has said that the government needs to regulate how power and fuel used in the country. Chasi said that the regulatory authority will come up with voluntary guidelines for the use of power and fuel and that if this does not help, then news law will have to be put in place to police responsible use of electricity and fuel.
Chasi was speaking during an interview that was also attended by MDC vice chairman, Tendai Biti and CZI president, Sifelani Jabangwe.
There are things that are pretty obvious to me. We need to understand and interrogate the figures that we have bandied about as the costs of fuel. We need to understand which players in the economy are responsible for the greatest chunk of power usage, and are they in the productive sector. Or are they people who are living in 10 storey buildings with lights on as long as they want
So my mind says to that yes forex is definitely an issue but we need to understand whether the bill as we understand it actually reflects what we ought to be spending. So in my scheme of things, we need to address how we are using power and be responsible about it.
And this means that the regulatory authority must take charge and carry out its responsibilities as contemplated by the enabling act so that we can come up with I would say 2 strands of dealing with the situation; voluntary things that we can agree and say these are the steps that we should be taking, and if that doesn’t work, we have to rely on some piece of law.
So in my mind, we have to review the relevant regulatory framework and see whether it is in tandem with the challenges that we are facing. If it is not up to speed with what we need the law to be doing then we revise it with a view to enabling business to continue and also allowing people to have a dignified and easy life that we want everyone to experience.
Asked to comment on the minister’s strategy, Tendai Biti said:
I totally disagree with the quest to manage demand. We should manage supply. If I decide to go to Dotito, to Chiendambuya in my car, it is my money it is my right. So let’s not focus on the demand side. Let’s focus on supply, why is there a shortage. Because the human being will regulate himself. Because economics, after all, is the study of human behaviour.
You can watch the full interview here.