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Termination of Pre-paid Meter Program Angers Zimbabweans

  • Tatenda Gumbo

Zimbabweans have criticized new regulations introduced by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) compelling consumers to purchase pre-paid meters instead of getting them free from the state entity.

In a statement, the power utility said consumers are now expected to purchase the meters, a move designed to help property owners and ZESA to recover debts while easing the power company’s challenges in installing the gadgets.

ZESA, which was expected to install 600,000 meters countrywide, has managed to install 100,000 this year.

Residents say the new regulations further show ZESA’s inability to clarify various issues including the existing debt, payment of bills and the cost of the pre-paid meters.

VOA made attempts to reach ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira but his mobile phone was not being answered.

Harare Residents Trust coordinator, Precious Shumba told VOA Studio 7 local people are concerned by the recent regulations set by the power company.

He said consumers were unsure and unclear how ZESA expects to reconcile the issue of existing debt and why it proposed such a measure as using pre-paid meters when the company was not fully prepared to source the meters.

ZESA is yet to tell the public where and how much pre paid meters will cost.