Traders plan Zesco power cuts protest


Some electricity consumers plan to demonstrate against the increased load shedding that has continued to haunt Lusaka residents despite several appeals for a power cut schedule to avoid inconveniencing in the affected communities.

Some local businesses have joined hands to organise the peaceful demonstration against ZESCO’s failure to produce a schedule for the power outages which would help reduce abrupt cuts.

The worst affected traders included those who ran butcheries, hair salons and barber shops which depended on electricity.

“We are fed up with this abrupt on-and-off situation where there is no known schedule and yet they say it is only done during peak periods.

‘‘So some people have suggested that we go to ZESCO and demand that they provide a schedule for the power outages instead of the current situation,” one businessman said.

The affected businesses, whose owners refused to be named, explained that they have experienced huge losses owing to the power cuts everywhere around Lusaka compounds.

One butchery owner said he could no longer plan ahead because of the inconsistencies in power supply in Matero and Mtendere where he had shops, as sometimes there would be no power the whole day, even overnight.

“People have stopped budgeting; we have even laid off some staff because we are failing to meet our monthly cash targets to pay wages,” he said.

Several shop owners also complained of a similar problem which has affected their businesses with customers sometimes being caught up in the power cuts especially in barbershops and salons.

There has been increased load shedding in Lusaka without any explanation from the power utility company, and ZESCO has not provided a schedule on the power outages.