A government complex at Mutawatawa business centre in Mashonaland East Province has gone for nearly three months without electricity after it was switched off by the power utility, Zesa, over nonpayment of bills.
The complex houses the Judicial Services Commission, a courtroom, Ministry of Housing and Social Amenities, Department of Social Welfare, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Agricultural Research and Extension Services, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, among many others.
It could not be established how much the government owed Zesa, but reliable sources at the complex said the power utility was owed a huge amount of money.
Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira confirmed the development, but declined to disclose how much his organisation was owed, saying he was not at liberty to discuss clients’ accounts in public.
Civil servants who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity said they had moved some of their office electrical equipment, such as computers and refrigerators, to neighbouring shops where electricity was readily available.
“We are having problems here especially when we want to access some information from computers because we have to walk to the shops where there is electricity in order to do our job,” said a government employee.
“During tea break, we now go out and while up time outside because we cannot use stoves,” said a civil servant who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Others blamed the Ministry of Public Works for the crisis, saying it was responsible for payment of bills at all government properties.
Officials at the Ministry of Public Works declined to comment saying they were not allowed to talk to the Press.
Public Works minister Gabbuza Joel Gabuza could not be reached for comment yesterday.