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Debts by miners crippling us – ZESA

Debts by miners crippling us – ZESA

Vimbai Kamoyo

POWER utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), has raised a red flag on miners saying their debts were crippling the company’s ability to supply them with power.

Speaking on behalf of the ZESA executive chairman Sydney Gata, Transmission and Distribution Director, Howard Choga, at a meeting organised by the Chamber of Mines, said their operations were curtailed by huge debts they were owed by individuals, councils and corporates. He further said mines were some of the huge consumers of electricity and owed them huge amounts of money.

“The authority is owed vast amount of money by miners. As of to date, mines have a debt of US$27 million and 400 billion Zimbabwe dollars,” said Choga.

He called upon miners to service their debts to allow the smooth running of the power utility company.

“You need to pay up your debts in order for us to be able to constantly supply you with the power you so much need. We cannot generate power when we are bankrupt. We need money to be able to supply you with electricity,” he said.

Zesa has in the past complained that its operations are hampered by huge amounts it is owed and has put notices in the press urging its customers to pay or risk being disconnected.

“We have a guarantee to get 180 Mega Watts from Cabora Bassa in Mozambique anytime, but the challenge is we still owe them some money so we cannot access that facility,” said Choga.

The country has been hit with massive load shedding in the last couple of months, with some suburbs enduring 12 hours with no power.

“The ZETDC (Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company) is experiencing a power shortfall due to generation constraints at Hwange Power Station, limited import and a programme of dam wall rehabilitation at Kariba which requires that two generators be taken out for 12 hours. The power shortage is being managed through load shedding in order to balance the power supply available and the connected load,” said the company in September.    

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