EDITOR — Power utility Zesa Holdings is struggling to meet local demand for electricity, a development that has crippled industry and some agricultural activities like winter wheat farming. Some time back, Zesa opened up electricity vending to other private players including mobile network money operators.
Holders of bank accounts could also purchase electricity tokens via mobile phones, bringing so much convenience to many of their clients in this cash- lite society. However, several disruptions occasioned by a system failure, poor connectivity and own load shedding have compromised the power utility’s ability to maximise on the revenue they collect and yet they cry day and night that they are owed millions by different clients.
To make matters worse, there are clients who would want to purchase smaller units of power, which is no longer possible given the recent hikes in power tariffs.
It is no secret that Zesa needs revenue. In fact, they need it too badly given the ever-rising exchange rate. Foreign currency has remained scarce and most corporates access it on the black market where the costs are exorbitant.
This makes Zesa’s predicament even worse because it is cash-strapped.
The adjustments to higher minimum purchases may not help anyone at the moment because people’s salaries are not elastic on the back of rising prices of goods and services.
Zesa must ensure that all channels that it has opened for vending electricity tokens remain operational with the minimum of disruptions, no matter what form these may take.
The third parties entrusted with doing this must always have the capacity to offer uninterrupted service.
Zesa must wake up because it is them who are in need of revenue.