HARARE – Zimbabwe’s power utility, Zesa Holdings, which is owed up to a billion dollars in unpaid bills, has given consumers until the end of this month to negotiate bill settlement options and a six-month deadline to pay up or face a withdrawal of services and litigation.
The power utility, through its subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) said it was stepping up credit control measures to ensure it improves collections which are critical for continued provision of unhindered electricity supplies.
“All defaulting business consumers in the commercial, mining, industrial and farming sectors are required to make payment plans in order to clear their bills within six months,” ZETDC said.
The current exercise is targeting commercial enterprises which include hotels, supermarkets, restaurants, shops and bakeries as well as those in agriculture and mining sectors as well as domestic users.
Late last year, Zesa said it was owed over a billion dollars by commercial and domestic users. Government and parastatals debt was over $600 million.
Some defaulting state enterprises have already been dragged to court.
Meanwhile, the power utility said service provision was being compromised by increasing cases of theft and vandalism of its property.
With current foreign currency shortages, it was taking longer to buy spares and restore electricity supplies to those affected by theft and vandalism, the utility said. – New Ziana