Scrapping off Zesa bills disastrous

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The issue of the proposed scrapping of Zesa bills must be dealt with in a sober manner as it has dire consequences for both individuals and the economy at large if not carefully thought out.

NewsDay Editorial

Politicians are known for making all sorts of promises during election campaigns, even those that do not make economic sense. Now that elections are over it’s back to business as usual. It would be shameful for the country’s political leaders to continue fiddling while Rome is burning. The economy has taken a knock and it is calling for policies which inspire confidence across the political divide. Political posturing is not what the country needs.

Reports that Zesa Holdings has engaged President Robert Mugabe’s office over the proposed scrapping of electricity bills, arguing the move would be disastrous, are a breath of fresh air.

This is commendable in view of the pending disaster if nobody stands up to the politicians. While politicians have a constituency to please, it should never be with dire consequences.

Businesses by their nature should not suffer silently to whatever decisions are made by government officials in the name of benefiting the people. Zimbabwe is currently saddled with a $10,7 billion external debt. Accelerating the domestic debt which is reaching unsustainable levels will not only further hurt the economy, but also instil a culture of misgovernance which will affect generations to come.

The country has been in an economic crisis for far too long because of businesspeople that decided to watch and do nothing when govervenment was making populist and costly decisions.

If the country is going to prosper we need leadership at Zesa that is able to stand up to government and advise when it goes wrong.

The calls by Vice-President Joice Mujuru and outgoing Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo that Zesa and Zinwa should follow in the footsteps of local authorities that scrapped water bills is unfortunate.

Zesa officials rightly argue that the power utility cannot slash bills because it has got clients that have been ring-fenced and some of its customers make advance payments which leaves the utility in a precarious position as to how it will treat those customers.

While it brings smiles to the people, the question should be at what cost? Can Zimbabwe really afford to cancel debts when Zesa cannot generate enough power and has to rely on imports from neighbouring countries?

What will happen to the already struggling industries if power cuts worsen? It must be remembered that power is a critical enabler in everything that this country wants to do, without which we are doomed.

Will the government, cash strapped as it is, be able to provide funds to Zesa to import power?

It is therefore critical for the incoming government and Mugabe in particular to ensure that whatever decisions are made, especially regarding power, they should benefit the country and not a few individuals.

7 COMMENTS

  1. munongoshora zvakanaka tendaiwo..kwete kungoshora a lot of people were struggling to settle these bills which zesa was overcharging with their estimate bills. if u dont want your bill to be scrapped please continue paying as usual and stop complaining….

  2. Zesa should get the money for the bills from govt through the money from diamonds which was not remited to treasury during the inclusive govt. The zanu pf govt is responsible for the failure of consumers to pay bills bcoz they failed to create an environment in which people could work for themselves and pay their bills and should disabuse themselves of the notion that they are doing us a favour by solving a problem they created in the first place. They will not scrap the zesa bills bcoz Mavhaire is ultimately responsible for the mess unlike the council issue where mdc councillors will be left to deaal with the mess.

  3. CZI is quiet. ZNCC is quiet. Chamber of Mines ….. silent. Consumer Council … confused as usual. CHRA …. umm, maybe. Harare Residents Trust …. response rather …. confusingly non committal. Me? My suggestion is for Local Authorities and ZESA to show these ZANU-PF guys the middle finger and PUNISH anyone who defaults on their bills. For starters, why didn’t ZANU-PF ‘scrap’ VAT, PAYE, Customs Duty, ZBC licenses etc? Your guess is good as mine!

  4. Kana vakuru vakati scrap all bills why refusing, complain after scraping those bills, kana ukasateerera zvataurwa na President wako unoda kuteerera kuna ani, i think its better kubata iyeye ari kupikisana nazvo iyeye to dealer naye, scrap those bills President vasati vadzokororazve kutaura all ukaona zvisingaite siya basa racho uone kuti its just an eye blink panenge patove nemumwe

  5. i think this is a good move, kif we woke up with banks saying you dont have money, then which rate did these guys use to calculate bills from the zim dollar to us dollar,

  6. The move by president was right anyone who stops the move president must take tense measures upon him or her.these calplets they they think president is mad by saying so.get rid these bills as soon as possibles before he takes legal action upon ZESA..

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