Kalaba blasts opposition over energy politics

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba has lambasted opposition political parties politicizing the power deficit that has led to serious load shedding stating that the energy crisis was not only regional but global.

He said the leaders of the opposition political parties who were blaming President Edgar Lungu for the country’s power shortages and the resultant load shedding were being politically disingenuous and appealed to Zambians to see such leaders as unpatriotic who should not be considered for power to govern.

Mr Kalaba said it was cheap politicking for some political leaders to attribute the power shortages and the general economic crisis as man-made because what Zambia was going through was exactly what other nations in the region and the world at large were going through.

He told the Daily Nation that as Foreign Affairs Minister, he was aware that many countries in the world were going through serious energy challenges and that was why world leaders would be meeting in France in December to discuss measures that would ameliorate the global power crisis.

Mr Kalaba said world leaders would be congregating in France to find solutions that would mitigate and preserve the environment that was under threat because of climatic changes. Mr Kalaba said some countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) such as Tanzania had decided to switch off their hydro-power generating plants because of water levels in their dams for which some people in Zambia were attributing it to the Head of State.

“The challenge of power deficit is not peculiar to Zambia. The energy crisis is a regional problem. It is a global challenge and that is why the world is meeting in France in December under the auspices of the Corp 21in order to see how the world can reduce carbon emissions and preserve the environment. Zambia’s power deficit is not man-made, it is not President Lungu who has caused it and it is politically incorrect for our colleagues in the opposition are playing politics about it. It is being disingenuous to play politics and accuse President Lungu of having caused the energy shortage in the country,” Mr Kalaba said.

Mr Kalaba said those who were insinuating that President Lungu was responsible for the energy deficit in the country were only shooting in the dark because the reality was that the problem was not national but global. He stated that the power crisis was a serious matter that should not be cheaply politicized but said it was comforting that President Lungu had demonstrated leadership in guiding the country how to come out of the current power deficit.

Mr Kalaba said the Patriotic Front (PF) under President Lungu was working hard to make sure that Zambians should have their normal lives.

He said President Lungu elucidated short and long term measures in dealing with the problems of electricity and other economic challenges and that it was only prudent for other political leaders to join the Head of State in his quest to turn around the lives of Zambians.