zesa logo.jpgNational power utility, ZESA says there is no going back on the issue of tariff increases despite calls by industry and the general populace for a reversal of the decision.

The last quarter of the year is going to be a tough one for both local industry and domestic electricity consumers after ZESA increased tariffs by 31% with effect from the 1st of September.

While both domestic and industrial consumers have lobbied ZESA to reverse its decision, the power utility says there is no going back arguing that the tariffs are justified and have been carefully calculated.

ZESA Group Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Josh Chifamba, who was at pains to justify the tariff increase said since 2009, the power utility made a loss of US$100 million as at June 2011 audited results, adding that it is currently owed US$449 million by debtors who include the government, industry and domestic consumers.

The tariff increase also comes on the heels of prolonged and unexplained power cuts as well as a shambolic billing system.

Observers have queried why ZESA has decided to punish paying consumers by making them pay more instead of finding ways of recovering the US$449 million the power utility is owed.

ZESA has also been blamed for misplaced priorities where it is short-changing consumers, failing to repair and replace current equipment.