Residents Voices Issue 50

Residents Confused by ZESA Tariffs
BULAWAYO residents have said they do not understand how the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) reduced tariffs for consumers using load limiters as the parastatal is continuing to disconnect residents with debts from the previous tariff structure.

What is confusing residents most is that tariffs structures on display at ZESA revenue authorities across the city still show the same charges that were there before the announcement of reductions. In February this year, the power utility company announced that it would be reducing tariffs for consumers using load limiters by 43 percent in accordance with a ruling by the Competition and Tariffs Commission (CTC) . It said the reductions would be backdated to February 2009 hence the difference arising from the change would be credited to the accounts of consumers. Strangely, the parastatal is still going around disconnecting residents with outstanding dues. Residents have called for the relevant authorities to ensure that clarifications are made on the issue and measures put in place to protect consumers whose electricity is being disconnected.

Residents call for overhaul of water system

Residents have expressed concerns with recurrent bursting of water pipes in the city that lead to residents going for long periods without the precious liquid. They said bursting pipes across the city were evidence that there is an urgent need for a refurbishment of the citys water pipes before the situation spirals out of control. Not much renovations have been done on major water pipelines in the city, with most older than the country itself as they were laid during colonial times. As a result, burst pipes have become a problem for the city council in recent years as age takes a toll on the pipes. Only a fortnight ago, residents residing in flats on the northern side of the centre went for almost a week without water after a pipe burst along 1st avenue. Later another one burst along Fife Street a problem which residents linked to the failure by successive city councils since independence to revamp facilities periodically. There is thus a need for the government and the local authority to put in place plans that will ensure that infrastructure is kept well maintained.

Commuters fear for their lives

COMMUTERS in Bulawayo are calling on commuter omnibus drivers to exercise caution on the roads following recent spates of accidents that have cost lives and injured numerous people. Residents said they were worried about the carelessness exhibited by commuter omnibus drivers who they said seem to have a propensity for ignoring traffic regulations. This comes at a time when the traffic police who are responsible for policing the conduct of drivers have been accused of accepting bribes and as a result failing to enforce traffic regulations. Residents accused commuter omnibus drivers of driving under the influence of alcohol, especially in the later hours of the day and over-speeding in a bid to make more trips and get more money. They said due to this they were reckless and endangered the lives of commuters and pedestrians. They called on the traffic police to do their job of ensuring that drivers adhere to traffic regulations instead of soliciting for bribes.

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