By Alois Vinga
ENERGY Minister Fortune Chasi has dismissed as false, claims that power utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) had secretly hiked tariffs without notifying consumers.
Electricity users have in recent weeks raised concerns over increased amounts they were spending on power tariffs and were suspicious ZESA had nicodemously hiked its charges.
However, speaking to NewZimbabwe.com over the weekend, Chasi allayed consumers’ fears arguing the ruling Zanu PF government under the “Second Republic” was maintaining a high degree of transparency on public interest matters.
“There is nothing like that since electricity is still being charged at the previously announced tariffs. The challenge which members of the consuming public could be experiencing has more to do with how they are using the energy,” Chasi said.
“Remember, since the commencement of the lockdown, power has been available every day and it comes at a cost.”
Zimbabwe is currently on a five-week national lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Chasi added the government was no longer subsidising consumers as was the situation in the past few years.
“However, if there are any issues, I urge consumers to report such issues and the government will definitely launch an inquiry into the matter,” he added.
Some electricity users feel ZESA had increased tariffs as the power bought through coupons nowadays was fast being used up at an alarming rate as opposed to experiences of a few weeks ago when new tariff charges were announced.
Last month, ZESA approved a 19, 2% power tariff increase in line with economic adjustments in the country.
Under the new price structure, the first 50 units of electricity for the month, which used to cost $20, 50 were increased to $24, 50 while 200 units of electricity went up from $157 to $186, 50.