BY PRIDE MZARABANI
THE Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) has warned prepaid customers that they will not be able to purchase electricity tokens from July unless they clear their debts.
The power utility is owed over $15 billion by customers, both individuals and commercial entities.
Last week, ZETDC gave customers a one-week ultimatum to clear their outstanding debts or face disconnection.
“The ZETDC would like to thank its valued customers for positively responding to the call to clear outstanding balances, further to the seven-day moratorium that was given to defaulting post-paid customers. Prepaid customers with outstanding debts are hereby notified to clear their outstanding debt within the next three months ending June 2022,” the ZETDC statement released on Friday read in part.
“A three-month period has been extended for owing customers on prepaid meters to clear their debts with the expectation that the customers will clear at least a third of their debt before they can purchase power for the month.
“It is expected that a third of the debt will have been paid by April, 2022 and the final third be paid by June 2022. After the three months, the full amount owing should be cleared before any purchase can be made,” the statement added.
The power utility said the debt overhang was compromising service delivery.
“The value of the outstanding debt that has not been cleared through the current 50% redemption on token purchases has not been able to retire the debt over the years and the authority cannot afford to have service delivery getting compromised by the debt overhang.”
The warning comes at a time when Zimbabweans are grappling with electricity outages caused by shortage of foreign currency to pay for imports and reduced local generation due to aging equipment and vandalism of infrastructure.
ZETDC is reportedly losing over US$5 million to vandalism of its infrastructure annually.
A fortnight ago Mnangagwa said his government was crafting legislation to allow law officers to shoot to kill people found stealing power cables.
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