By Mutsa Makuvaza
ENERGY and Power Development Minister Zhemu Soda has warned residents against paying ZESA employees in cash, fuel or any other means so that they attend to electrical faults.
The matter came up for discussion during Parliament’s question and answer session yesterday when MDC-A MP Brightness Mangora (proportional representation, Mashonaland East) asked why Government was allowing a situation whereby residents pay for the State-owned power utility to fix faults in their neighbourhood.
“Is it Government policy that if there are ZESA faults, the public consumers must supply the staff of ZESA with fuel so that they come and attend to the faults?
“For example, at Marondera ZESA deport, the community is queuing with jerry cans of fuel so that ZESA staff are ferried to attend to faults,” said Mangora.
Minister Soda said it was not Government policy that residents pay for the fixing of faults, and warned members of the public that they risk being fleeced for what should be free service since they already pay rates.
“There are times when ZESA employees would request for support from the community or consumers to afford some repairs. This is what we want to avoid. ZESA must be able to pay for its running costs.
“In all fairness, if ZESA is supposed to be running without loses like everybody here would want to see happening then the cost must be absorbed through the tariff and the tariff as we speak is still very low,” he said.
ZESA has previously warned that the advent of the rain season means and increase in the number and frequency of electrical faults across the country. – Zimbabwe Voice ■