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Cornered Govt promises civil servants free solar systems; move comes after it was revealed ministers getting US$14k solar power at their homes 

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By Staff Reporter


HARARE: The Public Service Commission (PSC) has announced that it is going to set up a solar energy scheme for civil servants as part of their non- monetary benefits.

This follows reports that ministers are having US$14,000 solar panels each installed at their homes at the taxpayers’ expense to cushion them and their families from the inconveniences of rolling electricity outages.

This invited backlash from the citizens resulting in PSC issued a statement Tuesday announcing that civil servants will benefit from the solar programme as part of non-monetary benefits.

“The Public Service Commission made the decision to include solar equipment provision to its basket of non-monetary benefits for civil servants.

“In its eventuality, the solar project is meant to benefit all civil servants from every grade,” the statement reads.

The PSC said the project will be implemented in phases.

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“Government will leverage on all the above to ensure provision of renewable sources to the citizenry is a reality, including through the civil servants’ solar project.

“As an undertaking of a huge magnitude, the project will be implemented in phases.

“The addition of solar equipment provision to the basket of benefits is in line with government’s steadfast objective to cushion its employees and improve their conditions of service through the augmentation of monetary benefits with non-monetary incentives,” PSC said.

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing uninterrupted 18 hours or more of load shedding.

In most parts of  the country, electricity is switched off at 4 am up until midnight.

The power situation recently deteriorated dramatically after the Zambezi River Authority ordered ZESA to shut down Kariba South Hydro-Power Station, the country’s biggest power supply, until January, as it had exceeded its water ration for the year.