News Column

Power Consumers Fume Over Long Banking Hall Queues

June 6, 2014

Power consumers in Harare are bitter with Zesa over poor service delivery at banking halls when registering and making payments for pre-paid meter installations. Consumers at the Wynne Street Zesa banking hall yesterday complained that they were having to wait for long hours just to register and make payments. "I'm not happy at all with the service Zesa is giving us. The queues are long, we are spending a lot of time just to register and make payments for prepaid meter installations," said Mr Munyaradzi Makichi of Mabvuku.

"I've been here since 5am and I have not been served for close to five hours. If they cannot serve us they should just revert to the old billing system."

A visit by The Herald crew showed that only one person was serving consumers at the Wayne Street banking incensing consumers who are already angered by power cuts.

Other consumers complained that service at Zesa banking halls was shoddy and many were having a hard time just to register and pay for prepaid meter services.

"They just put pre-paid meters without notice and this is inconveniencing us. We can't even cook or iron our clothes.

"There is only one person serving and honestly we are getting a raw deal and yet we want to give them money," said Memory Ncube of Hatfield.

A resident from Dzivaresekwa extension expressed his bitterness over the sudden installation of ZESA pre-paid meters without notice.

"When we asked them when they were going to install pre-paid meters they told us to relax but yesterday I was shocked to find them on my door-step having already installed their meter and disconnected electricity," said Silent Vengesai.

A resident from Ruwa said slow service at the banking halls was putting their lives in danger because they risked being mugged if they go home late.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) continues to install pre-paid meters despite the fact that the electricity utility was losing more than US$10 million a month through power thefts and leaks.

Earlier this year, ZESA Holdings also announced that it was stopping installations of prepaid meters in favour of smart meters which were efficient.

When asked to comment on the issue, ZESA spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira was evasive and only said delays were expected given the fact that this was a nationwide programme.

The issue of whether to continue installing pre-paid meters or switch to smart meters has remained highly controversial as Energy and Power Development Minister Dzikamai Mavhaire and ZESA are failing to reach a consensus.

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Source: AllAfrica

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