ZESA ‘not stealing’ electricity units during load shedding

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By Robert Tafumaneyi

ZESA subsidiary, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZEDTC) has dismissed information circulating on social media that the power utility was stealing electricity units during load shedding.

ZEDTC said the message was “false, mischievous and misleading”.

“When there is load shedding, there is no electricity that will be flowing through the customer’s metre. The metre, just like any either electrical appliance, requires electricity for it to turn and there is no way the metre will be able to turn in the absence of power,” ZEDTC said in a statement Thursday.

The power utility said it does not implement underhand tactics in the provision of its services.

“Just like a motor vehicle’s odometer which only turns when the vehicle is in motion, a prepaid electricity meter can only turn when it is powered by electricity. Therefore, it boggles the mind how and why ZESA would ‘steal’ electricity units, particularly during load shedding.

“ZEDTC has 663 343 prepaid domestic consumers on the meters on the national electricity grid and their interest is well protected by sound business ethics and practices which observe the principles of corporate governance in service provision,” said the struggling State power supplier.

“The utility does not engage in activities, which are to the detriment of its customers.”

A message has been circulating on various WhatsApp groups claiming that ZESA has been raiding consumer metres to “steal electricity units” during load-shedding periods.

ZESA has been implementing an 18-hour load shedding schedule as power generation hit an all-time low in Zimbabwe.

Last month, ZESA increased electricity tariffs from $38.61c/Kwh to $162.16c/kWh.

This, according to ZESA, was because of the deteriorating value of the average electricity tariff due to the depreciation of the local currency against major currencies, resulting in pressure on the companies in terms of procurement of foreign currency based requirements.