Zesa slashes bills

HARARE - Cash-strapped Zimbabweans are set to get relief from national power utility Zesa’s decision to scrap electricity bills beginning today.  

Josh Chifamba, Zesa chief executive yesterday confirmed to the Daily News that his company would not backtrack on its promise to cancel $160 from domestic electricity consumers starting November 1.

“We remain committed to fulfil our promises and I can assure you that some people have already begun to receive the adjusted electricity bills,” he said.

Chifamba, however noted that the bill adjustment would be implemented in a phased approach.

“It’s not possible for us to bill everyone at the same time. So others will be receiving adjusted bills in November,” he said.

The Zesa boss said consumers on pre-paid meters would also have $160 credited to their accounts.

“When our clients migrated to pre-paid meters, their debts were transferred to the new system and will have their accounts adjusted accordingly, while those with up to date accounts will be credited with $160,” he said.

This comes after the power utility last month announced a $170 million debt relief for domestic customers, resettled and rural farmers.

Zesa said the debt relief to customers was devised after extensive consultations with farmers’ representatives and other stakeholders as a way of contributing to the general economic recovery and success of the agrarian reform in anticipation of the new planting season.

Zesa’s move to slash electricity bills comes after local authorities were ordered by government to scrap water and housing bills running into millions of dollars.

In the run-up to the July 31 harmonised elections, government directed 92 rural and urban councils to write off debts owed by residents since February 2009 to June this year.

State-owned fixed telephone company, TelOne, also recently cancelled $80 million domestic debts in the wake of an increased liquidity crunch in the country.

Industry experts have however, warned that the slashing of bills might hamper the power utility’s efforts to increase power generation and reduce load-shedding.

“It was a well-considered decision and the scrapping of bills will not affect our operations,” Chifamba said.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing acute power shortages since August this year due to annual plant maintenance at Hwange Thermal Power Station and Kariba Hydro Power Station.

The southern African country — which recently roped in Namibia’s NamPower in the rehabilitation of its power plants — is currently producing 861 Megawatts (MW) per day and importing 50MW against daily demands of 2 200MW, resulting in excessive power cuts across the country.

To help alleviate the electricity shortages, government recently opened up the energy sector to private players as the country continues to struggle with its power deficit because of a weak economy and ageing machinery.

Proposed power generating projects are at different stages of implementation as the country gropes in the dark for a lasting solution.

With 11 projects still on the drawing board, only the Kariba South Extension plan has inched forward and promises 300 megawatts for the national grid.

The new Kariba plan however, requires $400 million to take off.

Another long-standing initiative is the Batoka Gorge project for four 200 megawatt power generators in the next six years. This massive scheme along the Zambezi River is projected to cost $2,2 billion.

Work on Batoka Gorge has yet to pass the bidding stages for a comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment and an engineering feasibility study.

Other proposed projects are the Gairezi hydropower station in Nyanga; an extension of the generation life cycle at Hwange; the upgrading of Deka pipeline; repowering schemes at Harare, Munyati and Bulawayo power stations, and a coal-bed methane project in Matabeleland North.

Zimbabwe recently tendered a $400 million solar power project for Gwanda, Plumtree, Munyati and Zvishavane areas as a short-term measure.

Comments (24)

ko isu tanga tisina zvikwereti munotiitireyiwo? we were so honest paying our bills so what wanna be our reward nhai imi veZESA

persiouspkay - 1 November 2013

muchitangawo maverenga nyaya monzvisisa musati matanga kupa ma comments enyu

tazz - 1 November 2013

muchitangawo maverenga nyaya monzvisisa musati matanga kupa ma comments enyu

tazz - 1 November 2013

muchitangawo maverenga nyaya monzvisisa musati matanga kupa ma comments enyu

tazz - 1 November 2013

muchitangawo maverenga nyaya monzvisisa musati matanga kupa ma comments enyu

tazz - 1 November 2013

muchitangawo maverenga nyaya monzvisisa musati matanga kupa ma comments enyu

tazz - 1 November 2013

Sure he just read the headline and rushed to comments. Who knows if he is telling us the truth kuti anag ari up to date , up to date nei iwe usina magetsi acho because dai unawo waverenga nyaya yose.

Maita Manyuka - 1 November 2013

The president clearly directed ZESA, ZINWA, and Local Authorities to scrap ALL bills, not part of bills. Looks like ZESA does not intend to follow that directive to the full. In reaching a decision to scrap only $160 per household did ZESA consult the President and did the President give his assent ? I doubt that very much. May all the engineere and other learned people at ZESA realise that $160 out of a bill running into several thousands is negligible ( a drop in the ocean) and leaves the consumers in the same position they were i.e unable to service the debt !! At the end of the day it becomes an exercise in futility !! There is need for the ZESA officionados to face this reality. You scrap the whole bill and a consumer is able and motivated to pay some $50 or so per month (ZESA would have received some 3 months consecutive payments by now from most household consumers). You make a negligible deduction like you did and the consumers do not see a change in their situations, they just leave it like that because that ka$50 wiill not make any meaningful difference to the total bill !! Come on guys, give the consumers some motivation.

Selectah Vakuru - 1 November 2013

mazvvvvvvvvvvvvvita henyu

SAMUEL MAZURU - 1 November 2013

musanyeperwe nezesa hapana kuscrapper mabills they are capitalizing to their metered customers how can it be here on earth that a family of 4 people be given e bill with current balance of 591.00. This is daylight robbery urban household to be treated like a manufacturing industry after all i was up to date ndange ndisina chikwereti vanhu vezesa imbava i talked to the sales manager pana samora machel and he told me u have used the units, u have used the units hehe.... how can a house in high density charged that much what more industry yacho mbavha dzevanhu manje muchanotsva masvika kugehena hamuna nzvimbo kudenga imi to me its meaningless zvekuscraper mabills

wezhira - 1 November 2013

Scrap all bills a per the directive of the president during campaigns. Or are you trying to decampaign the president?

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 1 November 2013

Stale news.

Joe - 1 November 2013

kana vakabvisa mari yose nyika ino inoita dark country mari hakuna kwainozobva yekutenga magetsi since nyika isiri kugadzira magetsi anokwana.

kurojaimhosva - 1 November 2013

Coming from someone who thinks further than their nose, I would like to know if anyone can think about the consequences of scrapping even more debt off consumer bills? Bingo! The inevitable. No more service delivery. Let me put this simply, if you go to a bakery to buy a loaf of bread, eat the bread but then not pay for that bread, do you really think the baker will have enough money to bake the next loaf of bread for you to 'buy'? If so, where will that money come from? Think. It's a ridiculous idea. Face it for what it was/is, a "vote buying" gimmick and once again Zimbabweans will suffer because of the idiocy of the plan.

Basic Brains - 1 November 2013

Some people are myopic, The Presiidential directive was ill advised and its a slap in the face of modern economics. This debt scrapping charade has brought more misery than good. Its high time Zimbos learn to pay for what they use. Now Zesa cannot import electricity and we are in darkness every day.

fatso - 1 November 2013

Ministers will have bill as much $300, 000 scraped, and ordinary people only $160. Ndo bhora mugedhi chairo.

Mutengesimukuru - 2 November 2013

Ever heard of Bad Debts? What difference will it make if the people have demonstrated that they have no capacity to pay? Rather scrap the bad debt, switch off if consumers fail to service current charges. You will be amazed at the results revenue wise. Zesa left matters to run out of hand and must humbly accept reality.

Dzoro Jena - 2 November 2013

Do u want the company to get broke like Zupco if its to scrap all arrears

teechands - 2 November 2013

There is this Ministry of Housing and Amenities and l believe its the the Ministry run buy Cde Chombo hawana kubvisa zvikwereti but l believe the issue of housing sparked all the cancellation of bills.Daily News could you expose this

Commrade - 6 November 2013

When our clients migrated to pre-paid meters, their debts were transferred to the new system and will have their accounts adjusted accordingly, while those with up to date accounts will be credited with $160,” he said. ............ read and understand

jerenyenje - 7 November 2013

Its a reckless decision! We should be the last country to go down this myopic trajectory...Can anybody point to me one country which scraped such a bill and I will point you a country in ruins!!

ziviso muza - 7 November 2013

Bills Scrapped or not scrapped. Makes no difference at all. ZESA will forever remain financially deprived. I challenge the top guys in ZESA, to tighten their belts, come up with water tight internal controls and eradicate the corruption that is within their own. If the meter readers, and any front office staff involved in disconnections and meter reading were corrupt free, some income would trickle into the ZESA financial pocket. Much as most people are living in poverty, the little that they have could be going into ZESA's bank accounts instead of being exchanged in bribery transactions. I am out of the country, ZESA bill for my house stood at US$3940 on 31.10.2013. The electricity meter was disconnected by some ZESA guy who happened to ask for US$500 to fleece his own pocket. The guy got the bribe, paid in instalments directly to him. He got the meter back up and running. He may have enriched himself, and nothing went to ZESA and this is just one example. ZESA needs money to pay Namibia, Zambia , South Africa, Mozambique etc for the power that they supply and ZESA may want to continue hiding behind the finger of people's poverty.

JIL - 17 November 2013

Ko uori wechioko muhomwe kuti uisirwe magetsi.PaBindura zvanyanya kwanzi $50 chioko muhomwe kuti uisirwe magetsi ukasadaro 4 months zvichienda mberi kuti uawane.Vanocreator environment ye delay kuti vaforce maclients kubvisa chioko muhomwe either kuti ujambiswe waiting list kana kuti uisirwe wavapamusoro pelist.3 weeks wakamiswa ,sory it me irrelevant but perhaps tingangonzwikwawo pakawanikwa solution.

unknown - 11 March 2014

Ichokwadi muBindura vashandi veZesa especilly vanoconnector magetsi vanototaura kuti pasina mari hapana chako,kuti zvitofamba unofanira kutobvisa cut.Vamwe vakazochubhisa magetsi ini ndatobhadhara connection fee vakatonditangira kuisirwa bcoz of cut.PLEASE DAI PAWANA ANOBETSERA PANYAYA IYI YEUORI NECHIOKO MUHOMWE PAKUISIRWA MAGETSI MUBINDURA

mafira kureva - 11 March 2014

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