Incompetent Zesa insensitive to customers’ plight, Harare residents

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THE Harare Residents Trust (HRT) has condemned Zesa Holdings’ move to force consumers owing more than $1000 to pay more than $40 every month before they can get any service.
HRT said this week alone, it had received more than 30 reports from residents who attempted to purchase their recharge vouchers but were either denied the right to buy or were asked to go to the power utility’s offices and make a payment plan.
“The move by Zesa is highly insensitive to the electricity consumer who buys alternative energy like gas, paraffin, firewood, candles, solar and fuel for generators when they (Zesa) fail to provide electricity,” said HRT.
Zesa customers are now forced to settle their debts within 12 months starting from this September meaning that this will end in August 2016.
The development comes at a time when the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) is failing to provide electricity to its customers.
HRT said one consumer recently paid $10 and it lasted less than 10 hours while another paid $50 but ZETDC deducted $43, 66 and the customer only received units worth S$6, 40.
Another customer in Budiriro paid $30 and nine dollars was deducted from his account.
“ZETDC receives cash in advance for all consumers who have prepaid meters. This means they have money to deal with their challenges before fulfilling their obligation to the consumer.
“As a result, residents are incensed because while they are unable to access electricity they have to fork extra money to cushion ZETDC’s inefficiencies and ineffectiveness,” HRT said in a statement.
The pressure group urged Zesa Holdings to consider the plight of consumers given the high unemployment rate, collapsing industries and closure of companies amongst many socio-economic problems.
According to a local daily, Zesa Holdings spokesperson Fullard Gwasira claimed Monday that the policy had since been withdrawn though customers Tuesday continued to experience problems.
The new ZESA policy had affected more than 80 000 customers, activists said.
Gwasira said those affected should approach the company and have their problems solved.