HomeLocal NewsGovt owes Zesa $19m in unpaid bills

Govt owes Zesa $19m in unpaid bills

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The government owes the Zimbabwe Electricity Authority (Zesa) $18, 7 million but the power utility is afraid to disconnect supplies to force the affected departments to pay their bills, MPs said yesterday.

Members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy, chaired by Guruve South MP Edward Chindori-Chininga, said Zesa was unfairly targeting ordinary consumers and companies.

They were speaking during an appearance by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) board.

“It is ironic that government owes Zesa $18, 7 million and yet it is not being switched off,” Chindori-Chininga said.

“But companies, which bring taxes to government and employ a lot of people, are being switched off for non-payment of electricity.

“It is imperative that consumers are protected from unfair practices by Zesa.

“It is important that the actions of Zesa of disconnecting companies are assessed in light of the implications that those actions have on the economy.”

He also said there was no justification for a review in electricity tariffs.

Zera board chairman Canada Malunga told the committee that their function was to ensure that tariffs charged by power companies were fair.

He said it would be difficult to push Zesa to introduce pre-paid meters to address problems caused by its billing system as recommended by the committee.

“It would be difficult to push Zesa to do so because of the monopoly it has on the market,” Malunga said.

“There is need for more independent power producers in the country.”

Former Energy and Power Development minister Elias Mudzuri called for an independent assessment of the tariffs charged by Zesa
He said the parastatal had no capacity to calculate proper tariffs due to inefficiencies in the billing system.

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