Top Govt Officials, Army Generals To Get Free Home Solar Energy Systems
The government is installing solar panels at the homes of at least 100 top government officials, including service chiefs so that they will not endure the effects of rolling power cuts.
All this is being done at the taxpayers’ expense.
The Standard reported senior government sources as saying a local company (name supplied) has been contracted to install a 5 kilovolt (Kva) solar system at a cost of US$ 14 000 each for top chefs.
The beneficiaries include Cabinet ministers, senior government officials, commissioners, and army generals.
They will get a full package of the 5 Kva solar system, which consists of accessories and labour, and costs between US$3 000 and US$5 000.
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However, the government will be paying US$14 000 for the same service — a 200% inflated price, reported The Standard.
Energy ministry permanent secretary Gloria Magombo confirmed that top government officials will get the home solar energy systems when contacted for comment on Saturday. She said:
This is a project that is being managed by the PSC. As the ministry of Energy and Power Development, we are just providing technical support and consultancy.
As for further details, we are not aware.
However, I understand that government has a solar power plan, which will benefit not only civil servants’ but even ordinary people and other public institutions.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) secretary general Japhet Moyo criticised the government for taking taxpayers’ money to fund the lifestyles of bigwigs. He said:
The issue of electricity is affecting everyone and all citizens are equal according to the supreme law of the land.
Those who pay the tax are in darkness for over 19 hours while some are cushioned from the pain of the power struggles. Citizens should definitely challenge this.
The senior public servants should bear the same challenges faced by every other citizen.
That will push them as policymakers to address the problem.
Zimbabwe Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions’ Goodwill Taderera said:
We know nothing about the solar scheme, but based on past experience, those at the top are the ones benefiting while the rest of the civil servants are just being used as a scapegoat.
Government has pledged several non-monetary incentives to its workers, but nothing has been implemented.
The solar installation pledge for civil servants is just empty talk.
Government has no capacity to install solar systems for every civil servant. How can it manage to do so when it has been failing to improve salaries?