via Zesa dishes out $10m free electricity annually | The Herald May 12, 2015
ZESA Holdings’ decision to exempt its 5 000 workers and pensioners from paying for electricity is costing the power utility $10 million annually, it has emerged.
Staffers from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development also enjoy the exemption, further straining Zesa.
The power utility’s workers and pensioners are entitled to $160 worth of electricity units every month, while staffers in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development have a monthly entitlement of $100.
This was revealed by Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri while giving evidence to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy yesterday.
Zanu-PF MP for Gutu Central, Cde Lovemore Matuke, chairs the committee.
The committee demanded the full list of people who were exempted from paying electricity by next Monday.
“Zesa employees are getting $160 worth of units per month and then the Ministry of Energy and Power Development are getting $100 worth of units,” said Eng Chinembiri.
“At Zesa, our employees are slightly above 5 000, including pensioners. I do not have the figures for ministry staff. We were just given a list of all the people from the ministry. Everyone, from the minister, is exempted.”
The revelation infuriated legislators who queried how the struggling power utility could afford to continue extending benefits to former employees.
Others questioned how employees could be given $160 worth of electricity yet in low-density areas, residents spend at most $60 on electricity per month.
Residents in areas like Mabelreign, Marlborough and Mt Pleasant spend about $40 at most on electricity, while those in high-density areas fork out about $25 per month.
The majority of Zesa employees stay in high-density areas, but are still entitled to about $160 worth of electricity units.
Electricity worth about $160 is enough to run high-powered welding machines.