BY BLESSED MHLANGA
POWER utility Zesa could soon embark on massive disconnections in an effort to recover over $1,2 billion owed to it by defaulting customers, most of whom are Cabinet ministers and top civil servants.
Energy minister Fortune Chasi has called on Zesa to cut its loses and start switching off all those who are failing to settle bills as the nation plunges into darkness owing to a critical electricity shortage.
“Zesa has a legal obligation to cut its loses, it cannot continue to supply power to people who do not pay. Switching off not paying customers is a real option, be warned, this is regardless of what or who you are,” Chasi said on Twitter.
The warning from Chasi comes amid revelations that government ministers and many top Zanu PF leaders owe Zesa large sums of money.
The power utility has been unable to recover debts from the ministers, government institutions and farms owned by high level party members resultantly forcing Zesa to default on its own debts with Mozambique and South Africa power utilities.
Zimbabwe owes close to US$80 million to both South Africa and Mozambique, who have since cut off power supplies to the country, leaving the nation to endure prolonged hours of load- shedding.
Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira said the minister was the principal who administers the power utility and his word was final.
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“If the minister says it, we will implement. Zesa is a parastatal administered by the minister, he is the principal so if he speaks we implement,” he said.
Gwasira said he was unable to comment on how the disconnections will be conducted, referring further questions to the minister.
“That information will be best answered by the person who said it. It will be unfair for you to ask me that question,” he said.