In 1998 i enrolled for a degree course in the former Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow Russia, interestingly water(both cold and hot)and Electricity was free in Moscow, and the transport cost (using the trams, metro/tube,and buses)was almost nil.I dont know if the situation is still the same, but i mean by all standards that made life affordable despite the state of that Country's economy.
Come Kenya 2008, power prices are set to hike by almost 24 percent in the next one month!How Sad!!!!.I bellieve when the original Narc was campaigning to grasp power from the ruling party KANU in 2002 one of their campaign manifestos was that the cost of power in Kenya was higher than Nigeria/ Egypt amongst other Countries within the region,they promised price cuts in order to attract investors, hardly 10 years down the road no price cuts but price hikes! worse the Government subsidy of 60 cents for first 50 units consumed by a domestic consumer has been scrapped effective July 1st 2008.The inflation rate is currently at 31.5% food prices, transport costs have doubled in barely two months, are we heading the Zimbabwean way?
The increased electricity tariff's charges announced by the Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday are disheartening, perhaps they lend credence to the loose talk that some parastatal's funded the elections with public funds and are now seeking to recoup! The move is said to have come after some lobbying by KENGEN & KPLC to review the tariff's.Smell the fish???...The fixed standard charge for domestic consumers has been raised from Kenya Shillings 75 to 120, thats 60% increase.For heavy power consumers the fixed charge is now Kshs 11,000, with an additional energy charge of shs 4.10 per kilowatt hours(kWh),then there is 16% VAT, Fuel Cost Adjustment Levy(which will be fluctuating dependent on world oil prices)Electricity Regulation Board(ERB) levy at 3 cents per kilowatt ,REP levy and any such other Levy these guys can come up with, where are we really heading?
I thought we are looking foward towards industrializing and growing a robust economy, but if the production costs are so high who will come to invest here?at the same time if I.T is to be an engine of cost and technology is electricity dependent ,by hiking prices are we not in some way inhibiting growth in this sector.How our leaders lack foresight, instead of making things easy they make them hard!and our technocrats in these parastatals are not helping either!I'm lamenting as a Kenyan and you should too, if not wait for next months bill from Kenya Power and Lighting Company and remember you will still have electricity fluctuations,power outages, rationing,faulty or exorbitant bills, etc...poor service for higher pay-thats Kenya for us!