SCORES of Emganwini suburb residents in Bulawayo, who have gone for about 11 years without electricity, have petitioned the Energy and Power Development ministry to investigate failure by Zesa to connect their homes after they made payments.
Report by Blondie Ndebele
In a statement, Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association acting co-ordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu said Zesa compelled the residents to pay to have electricity installed in their homes.
“A total of ZW$800 per household was required (in 2002) for work on the electrification to commence with the work expected to be completed within a month of payment,” he said.
“However, Zesa did not connect power for residents who paid the amount, instead it demanded a further payment of US$140 per household after the introduction of the multi-currency regime in 2009 to be offered the same service.
“Left with no choice, some residents made the payments while others have failed to raise the amounts, leading to them failing to get electricity”
The letter dated March 18, written to the Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma and copied to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Commission (Zera) chairperson Canada Malunga and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy chairperson Edward Chindori-Chininga, requested investigations be made on the matter, especially the aspect that residents were reportedly asked to pay twice for the same service.
“This amounts to extortion with ordinary residents bearing the brunt as they were fleeced of their monies,” Ndlovu said. “If any irregularities are uncovered, then the relevant lawful procedures should be instituted.”
Contacted for comment yesterday, Mangoma said his office had not yet received the letter.
“I have not received the letter yet and I don’t know anything about that,” he said.
Chindori-Chininga also said he had not received the letter.
“It’s possible they might have sent the letter, but it doesn’t go to the chairman straight, it goes to the Clerk of Parliament first,” he said. “I will pass through Parliament on Monday to check.”
He said his committee would soon have public hearings in different parts of the country, including Bulawayo, and it was expected that residents would bring forward such issues.