Zimbabwe: Outcry over delays in slashing electricity bills

Power-Line...16 January 2014, Harare – Most domestic consumers of electricity are still to benefit from the slashing of debts four months on after the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) announced the relief to customers.

ZETDC, a subsidiary of Zesa, in September last year promised the public that by the beginning of November, pre-paid electricity users would get US$160 worth of units in their accounts while other users would have their electricity bills adjusted by the same amount.

But many consumers in Harare said Zesa was yet to adjust their bills.

An Avondale resident who is using prepaid electricity said she had not received the credit.

“I am not happy with Zesa because up to now they have not credited my account. As consumers we are still waiting for them to act on their word or to at least assure us when the promise will be fulfilled,” she said.

Another resident from Eastlea who only identified himself as Tapiwa expressed fear that consumers in the area would not benefit from the Zesa gesture.

“We are now tired of waiting. Some of us now think that Zesa duped us,” he said.

However, Zesa spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira (pictured) urged domestic consumers whose bills have not yet been slashed to be patient as all customers would be credited as promised.

He said the relief was being effected in phases due to logistical considerations given the fact that Zesa has over 600 000 customers.

“We implore those of our valued customers who have not been credited to be patient as all customers will be credited as promised,” he said.

“Crediting is coinciding with our billing cycle meaning that a period when a specific customer is meant to get a bill is when crediting is done.”

However some residents acknowledged having their bills adjusted by US$160.

Warren Park resident Batsirai Muzambi said the slashing of the bills was most welcome as she had accumulated a huge debt.

“When I got my bill, it was US$160 less in the month of November. I was happy and it also came at a time when I did not have the money to pay up my debt,” she said.

The move to relieve households came after a government directive in the run-up to the July 31 elections for local authorities to scrap water and other utility bills owed by residents between 2009 and June 2013.

The move however, has crippled most local authorities especially major cities which are now struggling to pay their workers and provide services.


– The Herald

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