WASHINGTON DC —
Bulawayo residents say they have started receiving reduced electricity bills, after the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) announced a $170 million debt relief for domestic customers, resettled and rural farmers last month.
Ambrose Sibindi, organizing secretary for the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association, said ZESA has credited $160 to some residents, whereas the local authority has cancelled water bills to most of the residents, following a government directive in July ordering all 92 local authorities to write-off utility bills owed by individual ratepayers.
Mr. Sibindi said resident are so far satisfied with the ZESA program, but are still concerned about the local authority’s billing program, which has seen them receiving high water bills.
ZESA was ordered by the government to write off customers' debts.
Harare complied with the initial directive issued by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo by cancelling debts amounting to $330 million from the $400 million it was owed. Chitungwiza cancelled rate arrears amounting to $40 million and Bulawayo about $94 million.
Some of the local authorities are now failing to pay workers due to lack of funds.