By Leopold Munhende
POWER utility Zesa has moved to recover a debt owed by former Mashonaland East provincial Governor Ambrose Mutinhiri after announcing it will auction his property in Hwedza.
Energy Minister Fortune Chasi recently called on those owing the struggling utility to pay and Mutinhiri seems to have become the first sacrificial lamb.
In a notice published by State media Wednesday, Zesa said the former opposition National Patriotic Front (NPF) leader’s tractors will go under the hammer at his Newton Farm in Hwedza as Zesa seeks to recover US$54 000 he owes.
“Duly instructed by The Sheriff of the High Court of Zimbabwe, we shall sell by public auction the following assets to the highest bidder on 25 July 2019 at 1000 hours, at Newton Farm…Massey Ferguson 5365 red tractor, John Deere tractor 1850N,” reads the notice. “The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company vs Ambrose Mutinhiri: Case No HC3806/18.”
Zesa has failed to deal with debts owed to it by senior government officials and Zanu PF politicians over the years.
Former President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace reportedly owed the utility a combined US$345 000 as of 2011 according to a 2018 report and nothing has been recovered yet.
Former Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi was also fingered as one of Zesa’s biggest debtors owing US$327 481 for electricity supplies to his Ulva Farm.
Chasi has threatened to name and shame individuals and corporates who owe Zesa but continues to stutter at continued requests to do so.
Also named in a list last year were former Zanu PF Mbare lawmaker Tendai Savanhu (US$19 000) and current Buhera South MP, Joseph Chinotimba who reportedly owes US$43 716.
Ordinary citizens who recently spoke to NewZimbabwe.com said that they will resist paying Zesa rates until the institution collects its debt from ‘untouchables’ within the government and ruling party.
Currently the power institution is battling to service a US$73 million debt owed to Eskom of South Africa and Mozambique’s Hydro Cabora Bassa (HCB)from which Chasi is currently begging for fresh supplies.