Residents query Zesa bills

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Residents here have resolved to petition Zesa over the power utility’s faulty billing system.

Fungai Nkomo, chairman of the Umzingwane Ratepayers Association, told NewsDay on Monday the residents met at Habane Hall on Sunday where they unanimously agreed to petition the power utility to demand a reduction of tariff charges.

Nkomo said electricity in most houses in Esigodini was disconnected after residents incurred bills in excess of $4 000 while farmers in the area received bills of about $17 000 per month.

He said at the meeting, it was revealed that some residents initially received electricity bills of about $4 000 and upon enquiry, their rates were reduced to about $200.

“This clearly shows that there is a problem with the billing system at Zesa,” said Nkomo.

“It is our belief that they are charging us bills for 2008 which is not fair. There is no consistency in the billing system. Some residents said they received a bill of $30 this month, $100 the following month and $300 in the third month,” he said.

“We have local farmers in the district who have received bills as high as $17 000 per month which we think is unreasonable.”

Nkomo said they wanted the government to investigate Zesa’s billing system as they believed it was unreasonable.

“There are residents who have meters in their houses but they are charged using estimates yet some are charged using fixed charges. We want this issue to be investigated by the government because Zesa is cheating residents,” he said.

“There are people who have been paying $20 instead of the gazetted $30 and their power was disconnected.

“We want to go to Zesa with all those residents so that power is reconnected in their homes while they agree on a payment plan.”

It was also revealed during the meeting that some residents who had never paid anything to Zesa since the introduction of the multi-currency system had electricity in their homes.