Emotions are running high at ZESA and a solution needs to be found that does not hurt both the consumers and the workers.
The only solution is ensuring that those who stole from the parastatal pay back so that the money can be used for the development of the power utility.
It is most difficult for workers to accept that ZESA has no money when the management, working in cohorts with politicians, connived to loot millions.
Allegations of corruption in management are always worrisome and the workers and their unions should take the blame for not bringing them to law enforcement agents.
That said, the audited balance sheets for ZESA and financial positions, the quality of the debtors book, the regional and international competitiveness of electricity tariffs, together with the derelict state of ZESA infrastructure should be common cause amongst the shareholder, the workers and their union, and management.
It is from an analysis of these basic facts that a position should be taken as to whether the increases in salaries for workers are affordable.
Indeed this is how the arbitrators should have approached their arbitration and how appeal courts must decide the way to go. Done properly, both management and workers could have obtained a court order compelling Government to recapitalise the national asset that ZESA is, and, or permit a tariffs review upwards, and, or to allow management to engage other potential private capital injectors.