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Zesa to disconnect owing ratepayers

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State-owned power utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is set to disconnect power to tens of thousands of homes, farms and factories in an attempt to recover over $1,2 billion owed to it by defaulting customers, a Cabinet Minister has warned.

Zesa has a legal obligation to cut its loses, it cannot continue to supply power to people who do not pay. Switching off not paying customers is a real option, be warned, this is regardless of who or what you are,” Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi has said.

The warning from Chasi comes amid revelations that government ministers and many top Zanu PF leaders owe Zesa large sums of money.

The power utility has been unable to recover debts from the ministers, government institutions and farms owned by high level party members resultantly forcing Zesa to default on its own debts with Mozambican and South African power utilities.

Zimbabwe owes close to US$80 million to both South Africa and Mozambique, who have since cut off power supplies to the country, leaving the nation to endure prolonged hours of load-shedding.

Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira said what the Minister says regards power disconnections is what will happen.

“If the minister says it, we will implement. Zesa is a parastatal administered by the minister, he is the principal so if he speaks we implement,” he said.

Gwasira said he was unable to comment on how the disconnections will be conducted, referring further questions to the minister.

“That information will be best answered by the person who said it. It will be unfair for you to ask me that question,” he said.

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