The government has announced that selected hotels in resort areas will soon start paying their electricity bills in foreign currency. This, as the government argues, is a way to address the fully entrenched electricity problems bedevilling the country.
This comes at a time when the local power utility, ZESA, has implemented a crippling power cut schedule known as load shedding which has seen most parts of the country going without power from 0400 hours to 2200 hours.
Some companies across sectors have registered their displeasure arguing that the load shedding has already caused some losses as power is only available at night when the power comes back.
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ZESA attributes the power shortage to a number of factors among them, low water levels at Kariba dam, ageing equipment Hwange Thermal power station, limited power supply from the Southern African Power Pool (ESKOM and Hydro Cahorra Bassa), and huge debts it is owed by local consumers.
The announcement also comes when the government recently banned the use of all foreign currencies for domestic transactions through Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019. The SI also reintroduced the Zimbabwe dollar.
It is not clear how the hotels will raise foreign currency for those bills. Perhaps, the hotels will be allowed to bill in foreign currency. Perhaps! That would probably mean that tourists who visit Zimbabwe will no longer be asked to change their money at banks or bureau de change as earlier announced.
More: The Herald