… As Chizonde advises the government to ensure that all the loopholes in the procurement laws are not only sealed but also removed
By Francis Maingaila Lusaka (February 3, 2023 – Zambia24) – Stakeholders have welcomed the recommendations made to enhance the Power Purchase Agreement aimed at removing suspicions and scenes of corruption.
Researcher Bernard Tembo found that not only a lack of information, but transparency and accountability in the PPA made ZESCO incur great losses.
Dr. Tembo who carried out a study on the PPA Transparency whose report was released at Pamodzi Hotel last Friday observed that lack of knowledge of the PPA process was the reason why there is a lot of mistrust in the process leading to the utility company to recorded great loses.
Dr. Tembo suspects that sometimes players in the PPA deliberately decide to keep people in the dark to facilitate kickbacks involvement in the procurement.
And as such, Dr. Tembo advised, the government to seriously consider amending relevant laws that require competition in the power procurement industry and ensure full disclosure not only in the PPA but also in tariff negotiations.
He said the government would do better to enact the access to information bill into law and ensure that citizens are guaranteed what they need to know in the PPA.
He said the future tariff rates should be benchmarked against best example of projects within the region and build a more competitive market to allow a long sustainable tariff plan agreement.
He said stakeholders should continue to push for full disclosure in the PPA if the current problem that has given birth to massive suspicions leading to the power utility company making losses is th cured.
He said the contracting parties in the PPA should give full information without any reserve at all times in the value chain.
And reacting to the recommendation, Energy Regulation Board (ERB) legal counsel Emmanuel Mumbe told the public gathering that full disclosure has not always been the major source of confusion in the PPA but has been missing resulting in suspicions of corruption.
Mumbesaid gives ERB gives guidelines on the purchase agreement but the details are not enough to remove the suspension from the people.
Currently, Mumbe observed, Zambia does not have more fair and compositive laws that mandate full disclosure in the PPA deals.
He regretted the vice of PPA negotiation during crisis, the situation he said was affecting balancing electricity access goalcost-effectiveeffective tariff levels.
He said the recommendations made aimed at curing this perennial problem letheaddingg to the power crisis in Zambiaweres welcome.
He hoped the implementors will take on board all progressive recommendations in so far as they all aim at resolving the PPA crisis in Zambia.
And in welcoming the recommendations, Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) Chapter chief researcher Bright Chizonde advised the government to ensure that all the loopholes in the procurement laws are not only sealed but also removed.
Chizondesaidd scenes of corruption which characterize the PPA were the reason why power was too expensive in Zambia.
He observed that sometimes the contract is not properly signed because there are kickbacks involved in the process which tends to transfer costs to consumers.
ZEITI secretary general Ian Mwiing welcomed the recommendation of full disclosure in the PPA deals taking place in the country.
Mwiinga observed that the lack of proper guidelines was fatal in so as it does not provide full information on who the beneficial owners in the PPA are.
He expressed the need to have a law that will give full disclosure of the beneficial ownership of the PPA to remove the fog of suspicion.
He said the investment in the sector is huge and produced lots of risks that need to be removed.
He said the beneficial ownership of the PPA is extremely suspicious in that all the agreements made are not known.
He also regretted that often, the Pwasaain was marred with corruption.
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