By Tendai Munengwa
SOME Mbare residents in Harare have gone for nine months without power after ZESA disconnected them for non-payment of bills.
It has however emerged that the residents were paying all their rates through council, which has not been remitting the funds to ZESA.
Hundreds of families are living in the dark for over nine months.
Narrating their ordeal, Mbare Resident Association Secretary General, Henry Shadaya had no kind words for the MDC led council, which he blamed for failing to remit payment by tenants to ZESA.
” All the problems started when this transformer was burnt, ZESA could not come to repair it because it claimed that we were not paying our bills. But residents used to pay through council which was not remitting our payments. We have mobilised our own funds and repaired the transformer and we appeal to ZESA to connect us so that we pay direct to the power utility.”
Harare City Council Acting Corporate Communications Manager, Innocent Ruwende said he will follow-up on the matter when he is back at work on Monday.
However, ZESA Spokesperson, Dr George Manyaya confirmed the development and urged Mbare residents to push for payment of bills directly to ZESA, while council will maintain the legacy debt.
“All defaulters will be disconnected. On the issue at hand we convened a meeting with council and residents, we had a resolution that the council will maintain the legacy debt which we will continue to pressure them to pay up. We agreed residents will engage zesa directly so that prepaid metres are installed. We appeal to the residents to regularise their request so that we connect them.”
For many years now, the MDC led council has been making headlines for the wrong reasons as it is failing to deliver the basic services such as refuse collection.