Harare Residents Trust embarks on empowerment drive

The Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) yesterday embarked on a capacity building exercise in the eastern parts of the capital aimed at educating and training citizens on meter readings following a sharp increase in the number of people feeling cheated by the Zimbabwe Electricity transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC), a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings and Harare Water, a department of the City of Harare.

Click here to download MeterReading-BillsMonitoringFormforResidents.doc

Over 240 residents who reside in the Mabvuku, Tafara, Chizhanje and Kugarika Kushinga suburbs received meter reading forms as part of the on-going Alternative Social Mobilisation, whose mandate is to empower citizens on service delivery issues and foster accountability among residents as consumers of services.

The move comes after scores of households in the past two months fell victim to power and water disconnections across all areas based on estimated billings from Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and the City of Harare notably in Glen Norah and Highfield.

In the interim, defaulting citizens continue to fall victim to blackmail from ZETDC employees who charge a minimum of US$15 to re-connect power, afterwards another dispatched team would disconnect power, according to reports emanating from Eastlea.

Last week ZESA spokesperson Fullard Gwasira told the media that the power utility was reading 80 percent of meters, contradicting residents’ views on the issues in the communities.

In Kuwadzana 5 in 116 Crescent, HRT Community Coordinator for the area Mrs Regina Bakuri, ZESA employees have not visited the area to read meters since 2009 yet they are receiving bills averaging US$2000-00, an indication that they are being charged commercial/industrial rates on residential properties.

Efforts by residents to get manageable payment plans based on their monthly incomes have hit a snag while ZESA continues to bombard them with inflated bills which have continued to balloon.

Meanwhile, reports of inhuman treatment of citizens by the responsible ZESA sales manager of the areas notably Harare South continue to be recorded HRT indicating that the power utility does not have the interests of the public at heart.

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