President Magufuli sacks head of state-run electricity company over tariff hike
While in Uganda the electricity regulator approved 11% electricity price hike, the Tanzanian President John Magufuli sacked the head of the state-run electricity company yesterday 1st January 2017 after the firm put up tariffs, a move the president said would stymie his plans to industrialize the east African country.
Tanzania’s energy regulator on Thursday approved a power tariff hike of 8.53 percent by the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), less than half of what the utility said it needed to stem losses.
President Magufuli’s office announced the sacking of TANESCO’s managing director Felchesmi Mramba in a statement. Hours before the announcement of Mramba’s dismissal the president rescinded the price increase.
“It’s unacceptable that while we are making plans to build manufacturing industries and ensure more citizens have access to electricity…someone else uses his position to increase power tariffs,” Magufuli said in a statement.
About 40 percent of Tanzania’s population of around 50 million has access to electricity and the government is aiming to push that rate up to 75 percent by 2025.
Since coming into office a year ago, Magufuli has sacked dozens of public officials as part of an anti-corruption campaign and a new drive to root out government inefficiency.
He appointed a lecturer at the state-run University of Dar es Salaam, Tito Esau Mwinuka, as acting managing director of TANESCO.
The power firm had initially sought an 18.19 percent tariff increase to snap a loss-making trend and clear debts to independent power producers and fuel suppliers