ZPC owes HLB $36m in rates

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BY SILAS NKALA
THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) owes the Hwange Local Board (HLB) about $36 million in outstanding tariff payments, a development the local authority argues is crippling its operations.

However, ZPC has questioned the HLB’s billing system while also negotiating for a lower tariffs and payment plan.

HLB spokesperson Dumisani Nsingo confirmed the development, but accused ZPC of negotiating in bad faith by not honouring the agreed payment plan.

“We acceded to a downward tariff review to the satisfaction of both parties, with ZPC committing to pay us $1 million a week to offset its arrears,” Nsingo said.

“However, ZPC failed to honour its commitment as it has only paid us $3 million in 12 weeks. Efforts to engage ZPC to pay its debt are seemingly futile as it continues to demand for a downward review of tariffs which were approved by the ministry in our 2021 budget.

“Where we would expect them to come up with a payment, ZPC continues to insist on further downward review against the background that all the other stakeholders are being subjected to the same

tariffs.”

Nsingo said this had negatively affected service delivery as well as meeting the council’s other obligations such as paying its workers on time.

“ZPC owns over 400 properties in our prime area, which is in our medium and low-density suburb. By virtue of the areas where the company has its properties, its rates are on the high side and the fact that it took most of the land in those areas, it means we expect much of our revenue to come from it. This also comes against the background that they are relocating over 400 households from their Ingagula suburb to our area of jurisdiction,” he said.

Zesa Holdings western region general manager Lovemore Chinaka declined to comment on the matter, referring Southern Eye to the ZPC subsidiary communications department.

Efforts to get comments from ZPC were fruitless yesterday.

The HLB is also owed over $100 million by other ratepayers, including government departments.

Follow Silas on Twitter @silasnkala