Zesagate Affair: Mugabe settling power bill

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has been pressured to settle his $345 000 power debt to State-owned power firm Zesa Holdings three years after the Daily News’ Zesagate exposé, an official at the power utility confirmed.

Zesagate, one of the biggest scandal to rock the country in more than a decade, was unearthed by the Daily News in 2012 and revealed that at a time the power utility was on a nationwide power disconnections campaign against defaulting consumers in domestic, commercial and industrial categories, Zesa had conveniently ignored the bigwigs, who were stratified under the so-called “sensitive customers.”

The named defaulters included legislators from across the political divide in the ruling coalition, judges, provincial governors, ministers and their deputies and permanent secretaries.

Among the highest debtors was President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, who owed over $345 000 to Zesa as at December 31, 2011.

Josh Chifamba, the Zesa chief executive, yesterday told the Daily News that Mugabe was now religiously paying his power bills in the wake of the Zesagate scandal.

“We do not normally discuss individual bills with the press but because you have mentioned the president I can tell you that his account is exemplary,” Chifamba said.

He said most individuals including Cabinet ministers who owed Zesa had come up with payment plans and that they had since made significant strides in clearing their bills.

“What you wrote a few years ago is not the case anymore. If everyone in the country was paying their bills as religiously as the president does, then we would not be having the electricity problems that we are currently experiencing as a country,” added Chifamba.

Two weeks ago, top officials at the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC) told Parliament that the company was losing tens of millions of dollars in free electricity to its employers and ministry of Mines officials.

Julian Chinembiri, ZETDC managing director, told members of the parliamentary portfolio committee on Mines and Energy that ZETDC’s over 5 000 employees, including pensioners, were entitled to $160 worth of electricity per month.

Chinembiri also said that the Energy ministry workers were entitled to free power units worth $100 each per month. This cost the power utility losses of up to $9 million worth of electricity per year through the freebies.

This comes as the struggling power firm is switching off hundreds of thousands of hard-pressed Zimbabweans owing paltry amounts.

As for the president, Zesagate revealed that Mugabe’s four plots at Foyle Farm plus a cottage as well as Gushungo Dairy Estates had put him into a $143 667,33 debt with Zesa as at the end of 2011.

The president’s Gwebi Woodlot 1st Farm owed $24 901,05 while his Sigaro Farm 1st PO, 2nd PO, 3rd PO and 4th PO owed a total of $78 218,71.

The First Lady, however, fared less with her Iron Mask Cottage, Iron Mask 2nd POIN, Iron Mask 3rd POIN, Mazowe Wholesalers, Annant Cottage, Iron Mask Farm 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th owing a total of $98 306,60 as at December  31, 2011.

On the other hand Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was listed under the so-called “sensitive customers profile”, owed Zesa $240 824, 03.

The Daily News’ Zesa scandal, helped to refocus the national agenda on the topic of double standards used by the power firm to stratify clients, and unveiling a nationwide culture of entitlement and blatant refusal by the senior officials to pay for electricity supplies.

Comments (11)

. If everyone in the country was paying their bills as religiously as the president does, then we would not be having the electricity problems that we are currently experiencing as a country.kkkk what are you insinuating here Chifamba?

Tahir Iqbal - 1 June 2015

Do as i say and not as i do people,kkkkk

carson macate - 1 June 2015

CARTRIDGE GALLERY AND MANY MORE 0772 678 311 confirms that the MugaBugas are THIEVES

CARTRIDGE GALLERY - 1 June 2015

In short, the President and his cohorts caused previous electricity shortages when they refused to pay! Eye opening

Phaphamani - 2 June 2015

I appreciate that daily news exposed these politicians. But the problem with this article is that how did the President settle his bill. What are the terms and conditions that he was given by ZESA... Why was Zesa not taking action to recover such substantial amounts from these politicians.. These are the questions we need to ask Zesa. It could be that the President was given a 95% discount if he settled his bill in 5 years... So we need more information on how he settled or is settling his bill.

Gushungo - 2 June 2015

The CZAR Mugabe is the cultural and behavioral template for the rabid hordes of followers in his customized criminal enterprise followers. He repeatedly shows the typical Zanu pf DNA / Culture many times over daily. [ The ZANU PF “Culture” embodies the following 'attributes': - Lying, stealing, abuse of office, gross arrogance, impunity, racist agendas, cronyism, epitome of evil, self-aggrandizement, devoid of empathy. patronage, nepotism, denialist and stunted mental development ].

Sydney Mufamadi - 2 June 2015

Mugabe Robert Gabriel, paying for a service rendered to him. Thus nonsense. If he can not even pay a cent for the trips that he get the money from RBZ on any of the air flights, what more of the bills he has to pay from his pocket. Challenge any one to show me where Mugabe or Grace paid for any service or product acquired in Zimbabwe from their personal finances. Even Zanu Pf minister do not even pay for bills.

ananian - 6 June 2015

honestly..all is vanity.many people will sizzle in hell.

tambi - 4 November 2015

honestly..all is vanity.many people will sizzle in hell.

tambi - 4 November 2015

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