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Residents, Energy Minister Meet Over ZESA Pre-paid Meters

  • Tatenda Gumbo

The Combined Harare Residents Association on Tuesday met with Energy Minister Elton Mangoma over the confusion over the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority’s pre-paid meter programme.

The residents’ organization said it has been receiving complaints from local people over the power utility's pre-paid meter programme.

Residents are also confused by the ZESA’s instruction that residents can also purchase smart meters by themselves.

ZESA, which rolled out the programme last year, recently gazetted a statutory instrument allowing consumers to purchase smart meters which range between $200 and $300 rather than waiting for ZESA to come and install the pre-paid meters.

The smart meters are an upgraded version of the pre-paid meters.

Consumers who opt to receive the prepaid meters from ZESA must wait for the authority to make its rounds as it moves to install meters throughout the country.

VOA spoke to Combined Harare Residents' Association chairman Simbarashe Moyo who said after meeting with the minister Tuesday, there is clear miscommunication between the ministry and the authority.

"We are the people coming from the high-density areas, and we are seeing the slow pace at which these pre-paid meters are being installed and we are also told that in some instances some people are being asked to buy these pre-paid meters, when the minister is saying people must not buy these meters but simply have them installed," said Moyo"

ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira told VOA consumers will continue to receive free pre-paid meters from the power utility, but those who opt for the smart meters are able to purchase them.

The smart meters are the advanced version of the pre-paid meters being installed by ZESA.

Gwasira said consumers who opt to buy these smart meters are allowed to do so.
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