With Christmas just a day away, some Mutare residents are complaining that the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has plunged them into darkness as they failed on Monday to top-up their pre-paid electricity in time for the holidays.
Hordes of residents thronged the Megawatt House only to be told that the power utility’s offices have been closed until December 27.
There was confusion in the eastern border city as residents were caught unawares by the ZESA shut down. Residents expressed bitterness over the closing of the offices for Christmas holidays without communicating informing them in advance.
Mutare resident Ishmael Muumbe said he is disappointed that ZESA did not announce to the public its holiday working hours. He says the festive season has been snuffed out by the power utility.
“As it stands there is no choice because they state that from the notice on the door that we should have bought enough electricity to last the whole holiday,” he said.
A notice at the power utility’s offices advices customers to have bought all their power requirements for the holiday by December 22, adding this should be able to last them until the December 27. The notice also advices customers to buy enough units from December 27 to see them through January 3, 2014.
But another resident Trust Maingire thinks that ZESA did not do enough to publicise the notice, adding the power utility should have done more through other mediums.
Public transport operator Baiwai Munyeruki said there was a communication breakdown between the power utility and consumers. Many in the city of Mutare agree with him.
Janet Munyeruki is also miffed by ZESA. She said the power utility should have paid for adverts in newspapers to inform the ordinary people that its offices would be closed during the festive season.
Some customers were, however, able to top-up at Chikanga’s TM supermarkets and also at TM in in Dangamvura. But residents outside these areas are angry that if they have to have a bright Christmas then they will have to travel to other areas in the city to top-up.
Studio 7 failed to get a comment from senior staff at the main power utility company.