ZESA Holdings’ debt to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has ballooned to over $119 million as at November 2017, as the power utility is refusing to pay it, latest council minutes show.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
On the other hand, BCC owes Zesa over $94m in unpaid electricity bills.
According to the minutes, BCC is billing Zesa for the use of a power station, but the power utility is refusing to pay for it.
“Council is billing Zesa $860 284 as royalty charges per month. As at November 30, 2017, the royalty bill stood at $119 601 442,” part of the minutes read.
BCC has been trying, without luck, to enter into an offset deal with Zesa, as the two organisations owed each other.
But Zesa argues it does not owe BCC any amount, hence, it would not enter into a deal with the local authority.
In 2016, Zesa, through its subsidiary the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, approached the High Court seeking an order compelling BCC to settle its $80m power debt.
Besides Zesa’s debt, BCC is owed $169,8m by government, parastatals, domestic as well as industrial and commercial debtors.
The debt increased from $168m at the beginning of November 2017.
“The increase is as a result of inadequate payment of bills by some consumers,” read the minutes.
On the other hand, BCC owes various creditors such as Local Authorities Pension Fund, Zesa, Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe a total of $148m.
It also owes National Social Security Authority, Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund, Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers’ Union and funeral policies, among others, about $26m.
In total, BCC’s debt as at November 30, 2017 stood at $174m.