Why should I pay?

EDITOR - As we face yet another long, cold day and night without power, I ask myself why I should continue to pay for a service that I do not receive?

ZESA is owed US$45 million from consumers, of which 10 per cent is owed by government departments, and the remainder by business and domestic users. Yet again, the people of Zimbabwe suffer while the management and elite get off scott free.

We are now suffering now because of 30 years of gross uncontrolled mismanagement of a parastatal. Moreover, those that have been honest and paid their bills are paying and have paid not once but three times: (a) we pay our electricity bills, (b) we paid taxes which supported the incompetent self-serving parastatal management, and (c) we now have to pay for the alternative to electricity, be they candles, inverters or generators.

All we can request through the newspapers is that those responsible are named and shamed. Can we please know which government departments did not pay for the electricity they consumed?

Can we be told which businesses have still not paid their debts, and who their senior managers were to accumulate these unpaid services?

Can we know who the senior managers of ZESA were from 1980-2010, what they were paid, what perks they received, how many now have farms, children on scholarship, and castellated mansions in Borrowdale?

I realise that the poor – always the first to suffer in Zimbabwe – probably cannot afford to pay for any debt accrued. They are, after all, paying for it by having to get up in the very early hours of the morning to do their washing and ironing, and going to work on cold porridge.

We should also remind ourselves that a 25-roomed house an average of three lights and two plugs in every room together with one or two freezers and fridges, an oven, a microwave, large screen TV, a music system and computers, will be using a hundred times more electricity than someone in a four-roomed house in Mbare with four lights and four plugs.

So, who else still owes money amongst the domestic users, and why have they not been cut off?

Meantime, having paid my bills for 31 years, I wonder if ZESA can tell me why I should continue to do so, when day after day I have no power?

We hope that one of the daily newspapers will take these concerns to heart. Unfortunately, the weeklies do prefer to hear the sound of their columnists' voices. – AK BATISTA, by e-mail

Post published in: Letters to the Editor

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