Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
ZESA Holdings has said political bigwigs will not be spared as the power utility disconnects electricity to defaulting clients to recover $1,2 billion in unpaid bills.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) — a subsidiary of Zesa — recently revealed that it is implementing credit control measures to recover debts.
However, concerns have been raised that whenever Zesa disconnects power it targets small clients while leaving VIPs who owe substantial amounts.
To recover money from defaulting clients in September, ZETDC took Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo to court over a $400 000 electricity bill.
Minister Moyo is among prominent people that include former Cabinet Ministers Cde Sydney Sekeramayi and Cde Didymus Mutasa that have been taken to court over debts owed to the power company.
In an interview on Friday, Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira said there would be no sacred cows in disconnections.
“Zesa does not have bigwigs, does not have politicians, does not have big fish but it just has customers. We deal with customers as customers.
“We have customer categories and we have a policy of dealing with customers who are in arrears, who are in debt. There is no favouritism, there is no sacred cow as far as customers are concerned. We are looking for $1,2 billion that is owed by our customers,” said Mr Gwasira.
He said he did not have offhand, figures on the number of defaulting clients that have so far been disconnected as well as the amounts that have been recovered following the clamp down.
Mr Gwasira said the power utility cannot continue to provide electricity to clients who are failing to honour their obligations.
He said failure to pay for power compromises effective service delivery.
“If we disconnect power from you it protects you from getting a higher bill because you are already failing on this level. Once we discuss and say you will pay in this manner then we reconnect you. We are in the business of selling power not of disconnecting power,” said Mr Gwasira.
He said if disconnection and payment plan does not work, the power utility will take the legal route to recover arrears.
Zesa has categorised its defaulting clients into commercial and domestic.
Commercial entities include hotels, supermarkets, bakeries, shops, restaurants, mines, agriculture which are power intensive. — @nqotshili