Zimbabwe’s Minister of Energy and Power Development, Advocate Fortune Chasi, has announced the names of entities that have not been paying their electricity bills to the country’s power utility, Zesa Holdings.
Zesa is owed RTGS $1,2 billion in unpaid bills by its customers.
Minister Chasi said while domestic debtors made up 24 percent of Zesa’s debt book at RTGS $257 million, only RTGS $55 million had so far been recovered.
Local authorities are Zesa’s biggest debtors, owing an estimated RTGS $300 million.
The nonpaying local authorities include Harare which owes ZESA RTGS $145 million, Bulawayo, RTGS $112 million, while Gweru City Council owes RTGS $28 million.
Kwekwe owes RTGS $18 million, while Kadoma owes RTGS $10 million.
Victoria Falls owes the power provider RTGS $5 million, Kariba RTGS $ 4 million, Marondera RTGS $3 million, Chegutu RTGS $3 million while Mutare also owes RTGS $2 million.
Other debtors, according to Minister Chasi, include miners who owe Zesa a combined RTGS $69 million and local industries whose debt stands at RTGS $94 million.
Farmers owe RTGS$143 million, while the debt for commercial lighting stands at RTGS $92 million.
Parastatals owe RTGS $43 million.
ZESA also owes regional power suppliers a staggering US$80 million and has not been able to get additional power to cover its deficit.
Energy ministry officials were in South Africa last week negotiating a payment plan with Eskom.
Minister Chasi revealed that another delegation will also head to Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa (HCB) for similar negotiations in the coming weeks.
Zimbabwe is facing acute electricity shortages on the back of depleted water levels at the country’s hydro-power plant at Kariba Dam.
This has resulted in massive load shedding, which lasts up to 13 hours, especially for residential customers.