Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
The Government has directed Zesa Holdings to immediately institute measures to recover $15 billion it is owed by its clients in unpaid electricity bills.
Under the directive only paying customers should get power.
Energy and Power Development Acting Minister, Jenfan Muswere said all electricity consumers must be placed on smart meters to ensure maximum revenue collection and ensure that the power utility can discharge its duties effectively and efficiently.
Minister Muswere said this in Harare recently while delivering a keynote address at an event to commission motorbikes for use by Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) Revenue Assurance Operations and the official launch of Operation Usabe Magetsi/Lingebi amagetsi.
“It is very crucial that revenue assurance and anti-vandalisim modalities are developed to ensure secure generation of power.
“The $15 billion that is owed by various local authorities, mining houses and the public has got to be extinguished.
“In the New Dispensation, our major interest is to ensure that you develop action oriented mechanisms.
“I am delighted to say that as a ministry we need to develop the modus operandi that says ‘no payment no power.’
“Disconnections should be a measure that should be instituted after clients have failed to stick to the payment plan.
“It is very important that we give a time frame that before the end of next year smart meters should be deployed across the country,” said the acting minister who is also Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Postal and Courier Services.
He criticised vandalisation of Zesa properties saying they were working against the country’s desire to achieve Vision 2030 which is anchored on the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
“And all these criminal activities and economic saboteurs who stand in the way of Vision 2030 should be uprooted.
“To the loss control team, our message is let us be vigilant and steadfast as we ensure that there is revenue assurance and collection and be vigilant as we fight against vandalism.
“We have a collective responsibility as Government and members of security forces and citizens. As citizens of this country, the President has said nyika inovakwa nevene vayo. These criminals disrupt the growth of our economy and value chain.
“As we walk towards Vision 2030 the $15 billion has to be extinguished for the interest of attaining an upper middle class,” said Minister Muswere.
He said the motor bikes that were procured by the Zimbabwe Electricity and Distribution Company will go a long way in ensuring that loss control staff is mobile and help in curbing vandalism and other pilferage of electricity.
The event was attended by Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Magna Mudyiwa, Zesa Holdings executive chairman, Dr Sydney Gata and senior Zesa and Government officials.