By Joseph Madzimure
ZESA has embarked on a blitz to compel all high-profile people who owe it money in unpaid bills to pay up or face prosecution.
So far, several high profile officials, including former and serving Ministers have appeared in court after Energy and Power Development Minister, Fortune Chasi, empowered the parastal to recover the money without fear or favour.
The power utility is owed $1,2 billion by consumers, some of whom have not paid in almost a decade.
This comes as Zesa, which is struggling to keep the country lit due to depressed local power generation, has indicated that it will soon disconnect all consumers who fail to pay or make payment plans. Zesa acting chief executive officer Engineer Patrick Chivaura said the power utility was not going back on its quest to recover what it is owed.
“We have been given the mandate by the Government to put more effort to recover our debts regardless of one’s position.
“Those who fail to clear their arrears or make payment plans will be prosecuted,” he said.
Eng Chivaura said it was critical that defaulters paid their bills to ensure a steady supply of electricity.
A number of citizens and businesspeople are complaining about loadshedding yet they do not pay for services rendered.
For instance, the manufacturing sector owes up to $350 million while miners owe $200 million.
Said Eng Chivaura: “In the interest of service provision, the power utility has stepped up credit control measures in order to recover money it is owed by sectors such commercial, mining, agriculture and domestic.
“All defaulting businesses are required to make payment plans in order to clear their bills to avoid the inconvenience of service being withdrawn and litigation.”
Letters of demand have since been sent to debtors.
Eng Chivaura said they have put in place a payment plan for the production sector, especially the manufacturing sector, mining and winter wheat farmers.
“After the winter wheat season, Zesa will disconnect power to all farmers in arrears,” he said.
Eng Chivaura said everyone is expected to pay his or her electricity bill regardless of one’s status. The Chronicle