ZETDC gives free power to employees, govt officials

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC) is giving its employees and government officials millions of dollars worth of free electricity.

Members of the parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy took Julian Chinembiri, the ZETDC managing director, to task after he revealed that the company was losing tens of millions of dollars in free electricity to its employers and ministry of Mines officials.

The committee, chaired by Paradzai Chakona, heard that ZETDC’s over 5 000 employees, including pensioners, were entitled to $160 worth of electricity per month.

Chinembiri also said that the Mines and Energy ministry workers were entitled to free power units worth $100 each per month.

The committee heard that the power utility loses about $9 million worth of electricity per year through the freebies.

“We give the free electricity to employees in an effort to try and motivate them to ensure they give maximum service,” Chinembiri said.

“It should be highlighted though that it is part of their conditions of service and that is a taxable benefit.”

This did not go down well with legislators who questioned the logic of giving free services at a time the power utility was struggling to service its debt to various service providers which totals an incredible $132 529 204.

“Assuming that what you are saying is applied to other ministries, would it make sense to have say the ministry of Tourism having to give an elephant each to their employees in the parks and wildlife department?” asked Zanu PF MP Munyaradzi Kereke.

Chinembiri also revealed that the company owed a total of $132 529 204 to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, BancAbc, Stanbic Bank, NMB, IDBZ in funds lent to them for various projects while  its external debt  is $169 223 72.

Pressed by Tafanana Zhou, Mberengwa North Zanu PF MP, to furnish the committee with names of ministry officials who were beneficiaries of the free electricity, Chinembiri said he could not provide the information off the cuff.

Fani Munengami , the Glen View North MDC MP, queried why the power utility was not reimbursing those who pay for materials such as poles and transformers to install electricity at their premises on their own.

Chinembiri told the committee that it was ZETDC’s policy that no individual can own electricity networks even when they contribute to the development of the infrastructure.

“We normally ask those that would want to use the infrastructure to pay to the individuals or cooperatives who will have established them but I can see there is also personal drive in this matter given that there are members who are victims,” Chinembiri said.

Munengami had indicated that he had not been reimbursed when he purchased his own equipment.

Comments (22)

ZESA should install prepaid meters for everyone. those who still have post-paid meters are being corruptly harassed for disconnections as if they are the only ones who owe ZESA

Madyira - 12 May 2015

"We give the free electricity"...erh its not free is it? It still needs to be paid and given Zimbabwe's high unemployment, effectively you have struggling vegetable & airtime vendors subsidising Mugabe and co electricity bills.

Galore 123 - 12 May 2015

Giving freebies to those who already get hefty salaries does not make economic sense especially with our current situation. Its only the unemployed vendor that has to bear the brunt of paying huge power bills. Such a shame.

uhuru - 12 May 2015

If we continue to manage this country the way we have always managed it, this ZIMASSET will just be a sad joke in the end. Where on earth have you heard about people being given free electricity? The truth is that the electricity will actually be paid for, but not by those who use it.

machakachaka - 12 May 2015

Zvino tingavake nyika here it means more load shading is to come.takabva kure nenhamo dzenyika.

G40 - 12 May 2015

This is nowhere near what is called a fair go. This us corruption and the results will always be the same. Collapsing of an organisation

Bull Ant - 13 May 2015

Free electricity to the tune of $160/month!!! Did I read well? Does this benefit extend to commercial establishments of those getting it? Otherwise how can a normal household spend this much in a single month?! Besides the lack of sense in this employee scheme, I also smell a rat, a big rotten rat about this scheme.

Tariro - 13 May 2015

People read between the lines. The free benefit allowance is a benefit which is part of the employment package agreed on at workers councils when negotiating salaries. The same members of parliament get their allowances and nobody has asked them what they are doing in parliament as most of the time they will be sleeping. A person works in a bakery gets an allowance of bread every day the same with a person in Education his children attends classes free. I dot not see anything unusual here. Instead of discussing about the economy they want to discuss about electricity benefit yet for sure a majority of them do not even pay the electricity bills in their farms. This is the hypocrisy with our member of parliament ?

medion kasvatutsa - 13 May 2015

MaMPs aya arikutsvaga kuti okwana sei pachirongwa.

Ndini uyo - 13 May 2015

ZEDTC should investigate some corrupt staff members at Makoni Depot in Chitungwiza who are making people pay huge kickbacks for them to approve new line constructions yet the people pay for the infrastructure on their own

alli baba - 14 May 2015

ZEDTC should investigate some corrupt staff members at Makoni Depot in Chitungwiza who are making people pay huge kickbacks for them to approve new line constructions yet the people pay for the infrastructure on their own

alli baba - 14 May 2015

ZEDTC should investigate some corrupt staff members at Makoni Depot in Chitungwiza who are making people pay huge kickbacks for them to approve new line constructions yet the people pay for the infrastructure on their own

alli baba - 14 May 2015

ZEDTC should investigate some corrupt staff members at Makoni Depot in Chitungwiza who are making people pay huge kickbacks for them to approve new line constructions yet the people pay for the infrastructure on their own

alli baba - 14 May 2015

ZEDTC should investigate some corrupt staff members at Makoni Depot in Chitungwiza who are making people pay huge kickbacks for them to approve new line constructions yet the people pay for the infrastructure on their own

alli baba - 14 May 2015

ZEDTC should investigate some corrupt staff members at Makoni Depot in Chitungwiza who are making people pay huge kickbacks for them to approve new line constructions yet the people pay for the infrastructure on their own

alli baba - 14 May 2015

ZEDTC should investigate some corrupt staff members at Makoni Depot in Chitungwiza who are making people pay huge kickbacks for them to approve new line constructions yet the people pay for the infrastructure on their own

alli baba - 14 May 2015

ZEDTC should investigate some corrupt staff members at Makoni Depot in Chitungwiza who are making people pay huge kickbacks for them to approve new line constructions yet the people pay for the infrastructure on their own

alli baba - 14 May 2015

ZEDTC should investigate some corrupt staff members at Makoni Depot in Chitungwiza who are making people pay huge kickbacks for them to approve new line constructions yet the people pay for the infrastructure on their own

alli baba - 14 May 2015

ZEDTC should investigate some corrupt staff members at Makoni Depot in Chitungwiza who are making people pay huge kickbacks for them to approve new line constructions yet the people pay for the infrastructure on their own

alli baba - 14 May 2015

macomrades Kereke M orwadziwa nemabenifits ewamwe nekuti akatadza kubhadhara washandi wake kuROCKFOUNDATION CLINIC ndiyo imwe mboko chaiyo,thus their employment agreement hawadiwe muparliament vanhu vakadai child mind brings no production in parliament, kuRBZ he was getting a lot of allowances no one complained zvakwanhingi worwadziwa Bhadhara vashandi wako please they are suffering they haven't paid school fees rents and so on urimhondi chaiyo iwe.............................................................

cde joboringo - 14 May 2015

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