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Waive duty on gensets, urges ZCTU

LINDA NYONDO & GIFT LUMANTO, Lusaka
THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called on Government to waive duty on the importation of generator sets to help mitigate the electricity deficit that the country is facing.
ZCTU secretary general Cosmas Mukuka said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that many Zambians will be able to purchase generator sets once import duty is waived.
Mr Mukuka said increased load-shedding by Zesco is forcing people to use charcoal to cook.
He is concerned that the high demand for charcoal will eventually lead to deforestation because charcoal producers will increase their illegal logging activities in a bid to meet demand
“Economic development will be hampered by load-shedding because factories and outlets will close down during the period of blackout.
“Those in authority should not downplay the effect of load-shedding on the national economy. Production in the mines will be affected because of load-shedding,’’ he said.
Mr Mukuka said hospitals and many government institutions will be affected due to load-shedding.
He also said production costs will increase, which might be passed on to the consumers.
And Mr Mukuka says ZCTU is worried that negotiations between Government and the public sector unions have not yet started.
“We have had some meetings, but such meetings have not yielded results. We want the negotiations to be concluded before the budget is presented in October,” he said.

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