Zesa slashes customers’ debts

Zesa Holdings yesterday slashed debts for domestic customers and farmers, bowing to political pressure.

Victoria Mtomba

In a statement last night, the power utility said extensive consultations were made with farmers’ representatives and other stakeholders before the decision was made.

The move, the power utility said, will benefit all domestic customers with a debt relief of $160 per household, while customers on prepaid meters would have their amortised outstanding debts adjusted.

According to the statement, the total debt relief for farmers and consumers amounts to $80 million and $90 million, respectively.

“Customer bills will be proportionally adjusted and this will reflect on the October 2013 bills,” part of the statement reads.

“This debt relief is a once-off dispensation.

“Customers already on prepaid and without debt will be credited the equivalent amount in units. The benefits of prepaid metering have been taken into account in awarding this write-off.”

There have been calls from various quarters, including Vice-President Joice Mujuru, to have Zesa bills slashed.

Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, recently ordered all local authorities to cancel debts owed by residents.

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