No forex for prepaid meters: Undenge
Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge has blamed the failure to install prepaid electricity meters in outstanding homes and businesses to the shortage of foreign currency.
It has since emerged that only 11 200 meters out of 130 000 meters ordered recently have been procured.
Addressing Parliament last week, Minister Undenge said 576 000 prepaid electricity meters have been installed in homes and business premises throughout Zimbabwe since the prepaid meter installation programme began.
Of the 576 000 meters, 6 000 failed, resulting in the cancellation of ZTE’s contract to install the pre-paid meters.
“Glen Norah is among several Harare suburbs including Mufakose, Mbare, Mabvuku and Dzivarasekwa, where over 100 000 prepaid meter installations are still outstanding,” he said.
“The second phase of prepaid meter installations that covers Glen Norah and the other suburbs has been delayed due to non-delivery of meters by our suppliers who were awarded the tender to supply 130 000 prepaid meters.
“To date, only 11 200 meters have been delivered as the foreign manufacturers are not getting adequate foreign currency allocation to deliver the meters.”
Minister Undenge was responding to a question from Glen Norah legislator Webster Maondera who asked when prepaid meters would be installed in his constituency.
The legislator also wanted to find out what Government was doing to stop the illegal selling of the meters by Zesa employees for $250.
Minister Undenge said Zesa was engaging key stakeholders for the roll out of phase two of the meters.
Phase two begins first quarter of 2017.
Minister Undenge warned corrupt Zesa employees that they faced arrest.
“Zesa is engaging consumer advisory boards, resident associations and other customer representative bodies in its campaign against corruption, fraud and bribery,” he said.
“In addition, an electronic and print media campaign is also under way urging customers to report unscrupulous staff members using toll free hot lines managed by Deloitte.
“Disconnected points are being followed up and customers found illegally reconnected are penalised. Police reports are made for identified offending staff involved in fraud, including the alleged settling of prepaid meters. In such instances, stern disciplinary measures are in place for the perpetrators.”