ZESA owed $34m from Eastern region alone

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is owed a staggering $34m by consumers in the Eastern region and the power utility has already put in place measures to recover the money, a senior official within the company has said.

Energy and power development minister Dzikami Mavhaire.
Energy and power development minister Dzikami Mavhaire.

Speaking in Masvingo this week after meeting consumers, the company’s general manager for the region, Milton Munodawafa, said half the sum was owed by companies and businesspeople and the other half by households.

Munodawafa said that he was happy with the response from those who owed the power utility money, as most of them were coming to negotiate payment plans. Others were clearing their debts. ZESA public relations manager Fullard Gwasira confirmed the debt. He said the introduction of prepaid meters was one of the measures they would be using to ensure debts did not continue to accumulate.

“A technical team has been set up to ensure that all the outstanding arrears are recovered,” said Gwasira. “We also make sure that when residents pay their bill, we deduct 20 per cent of the money to go towards reducing the debt.”

ZESA has been attacked by residents for power outages that have seen some areas going for days without electricity.

Residents at the meeting told ZESA officials that the load-shedding schedule should be made public. They said some of them had lost valuable things due to persistent power cuts.

Energy and power development minister Dzikamai Mavhaire recently said that he could not assure the nation enough power because the current power generation capacity couldn’t meet demand.

He said he would be lying if he made guarantees of enough power this year. Power outages have become a common occurence in the country for the past decade. The power shortage has adversely affected industrial production and many companies are now operating at below 15 per cent of capacity.

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