There was mixed news for customers of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority this week as the utility clarified Friday that a reported 43 percent rate reduction applied only to customers who had prepaid their accounts and did not get their money's worth. The state enterprise said consumer rates elsewhere were to rise by 30 percent.
The higher rates will be retroactively applied as of the first day of February. The increase means consumers who were being charged 30 dollars month will now be charged 40 - though many Zimbabweans have been hit with bills of hundreds of dollars.
ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira told VOA reporter Brenda Moyo the rate reduction for pre-paid customers came about as a compensation for power outages.
Economist Prosper Chitambara of the Labor and Economic Development Institute of Zimbabwe said the tariff increases will hurt both business and consumers with a knock-on effect on the broader cost of living, now rising at a 3.2 percent annual rate.