Energy Minister, Advocate Fortune Chasi, has claimed that electricity consumers incapacitated local power utility, ZESA by failing to pay their bills.
The minister speaks as ZESA is failing to provide adequate power to the nation citing a number of factors including low water levels at Kariba Dam and the ageing equipment at Hwange thermal power plant.
Resultantly, ZESA implemented a power cut schedule which has seen most parts of the country going without electricity between 0400 hours and 2200 hours.
The power utility is reportedly owed about ZWL$1,2 billion and in turn, owes regional power utilities over US$70 million. Defaulting debt payments to power suppliers, ESKOM of South Africa and Hydro Cahorra Bassa of Mozambique has also contributed to the scarcity of power.
The minister said that consumers needed to pay their bills and debts. He said:
We have been irresponsible; we have not paid our debts. When you do not pay your debts, you lose the moral high ground to criticise Zesa. We are the authors of its insolvency.
Chasi added that paying bills and debts was in the nation’s interest. He also said that the government was considering a tariff review since the current tariff does not reflect the reality on the ground. He added:
Out of the $1.2 billion, they have collected something like $55 million, its nothing.
There are reports suggesting that negotiations re underway between Zimbabwe and South Africa, and Zimbabwe and Mozambique over the possibility of ESKOM and Hydro Cahorra Bassa resuming power exportation to Zimbabwe.
More: The Herald
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Fortune Chasi is a lawyer, politician, and musician. He is Zimbabwe's current Minister of Energy and Power Development. In December 2017 under the Mnangagwa administration, he was appointed as the deputy for legal affairs in the Zanu-PF party. Chasi was re-elected during the 2018 elections... Read More About Fortune Chasi