Tanzania’s Energy Minister under fire over power price hikes

Power Transmission16 January 2014, Dar es Salaam – The Shadow Minister for Energy and Minerals in Tanzania, Mr John Mnyika, has urged President Jakaya Kikwete to take to task Prof Sospeter Muhongo while planning for cabinet reshuffle as the Minister has failed to control power prices.

The cabinet reshuffle is underway to replace four ministers who were sacked after being implicated in gross violations of human rights during the anti-poaching operation and one minister who died recently.

Mr Mnyika, who is a Member of Parliament (MP) for Ubungo Constituency said in a statement yesterday that the prices have gone up despite Prof Muhongo assuring the public that there would be no more power price hikes.

“President Kikwete should recall that Prof Muhongo assured the public on different occasions between 2012 and 2013, that there will be no more price increase on power,”said Ubungo MP.

The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) recently announced the power price increase to different groups of customers.

The decision follows the request by the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) which proposed the price increase by 67.87 per cent from October 1, 2013 and 12.74 per cent from January 1, 2014 as well as 9.17 per cent from January 1, 2015.

Mr Mnyika said the power increase would cause adverse impact on the economy and people’s lives. “I have been receiving comments from wananchi in different regions protesting the price increase since I invited comments on the power price increases,” he said.

The Ubungo MP said those who have sent him their opinions have expressed concern on the price increase and that they have proposed measures to be taken to rescue the economy from increasing cost of living resulting from power price hikes.

“Many people have proposed that the authority (EWURA) should have proposed ways of releasing burden of the cost of production and supply,” he said.

According to Mr Mnyika, people have proposed to stage demonstrations to protest power price hikes to rescue the economy. “The deadline for receiving opinions vie my email will be this Friday,” said Mr Mnyika adding, “After the deadline, I will announce measures recommended against the matter.”

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