ZESA’s Crackdown on Debtors for Unsettled Bills

February 1, 2024
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ZESA is set to implement a nationwide campaign to terminate electricity services to numerous customers with outstanding debts exceeding US$500. Despite prior assurances that these debts would be addressed through deductions from prepaid electricity recharge tokens, the parastatal aims to recover at least US$80 million monthly out of the total US$1.1 billion owed since the transition to pre-paid meters.

Customers with prepaid meters will be removed from the station’s system, while those on the post-paid system will face disconnection from power lines. Zesa’s spokesperson, Mr. Fullard Gwasira, highlighted challenges in debt recovery under the prepayment system, emphasizing the need for negotiations on payment plans.

Gwasira noted, “Despite offering a 30 percent amortisation in 2009, customers often pay only a fraction towards their debt, leading to extended repayment periods. Affected customers are encouraged to engage with the power utility to establish prepaid vending system-compatible payment plans.”

Since the introduction of prepaid meters in 2012 to promote energy-saving and ensure steady cash inflows, ZESA has only managed to recover 18 percent of the outstanding debt, amounting to $56 million.