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Power issue is getting out of hand

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd August 2005 03:00 AM

SIR — It is high time Umeme made a difference. A customer pays his or her bill in cash and it takes two months to be posted on one’s account! For Christ’s sake, why all that time.

SIR — It is high time Umeme made a difference. A customer pays his or her bill in cash and it takes two months to be posted on one’s account! For Christ’s sake, why all that time.

SIR — It is high time Umeme made a difference. A customer pays his or her bill in cash and it takes two months to be posted on one’s account! For Christ’s sake, why all that time.

I thought this was one of the reasons why UEDCL was leased out to Umeme! government bodies the world over are known for this laxity but Umeme is a private company. What has Umeme done so far to show that it is different from UEDCL? Umeme got everything on a silver plate but it seems they have failed to make any headway.

They boast of a Wide Area Network that can capture all the transactions but this does not help because even if a customer paid from the head office or the zonal office the period is still the same! Umeme disconnects customers because of the company’s own inefficiency!

Why should customers suffer for Umeme’s failure to post payments in time?

F. Nabukalu
Bweyogerere

SIR — When Umeme increased electricity tariffs, we were told that they would improve services and with additional power generated by thermal fuel (diesel) they would reduce loadshedding. On the contrary, loadshedding has got worse in the Kanjansi area. it is now common to go through two consecutive nights without power. in a 168-hour week we get power for just about 50 hours! This is under 30%.

It is not fair when we are paying a lot of money but the service is instead deteriorating. Now to make matters worse, there is an impending fuel crisis and already diesel is getting scarce.

I understand most of the diesel imported by Shell Uganda is consumed by the thermal plant and that Shell is committed to this contract irrespective of the fuel situation! My question is, where is that electricity going? Is it possible that the Ugandan consumer is being charged to generate power that is being exported? If it is not being exported, why has the loadshedding got worse?

In addition to suffering worsening loadshedding and extremely high electricity rates, we are also going to suffer a transport problem excarbated by the fact that most of the available diesel is gobbled up by the generation of power that we do not get!

There must be somebody somewhere who should be responsible for consumer protection. Can they tell us what is happening? The matter of power in Uganda is getting out of hand!

John Sekalo
Kampala

Power issue is getting out of hand

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