zesa logo.jpgNational power utility, ZESA says it is going to recover the US$449 million it is owed by consumers through the soon to be introduced pre-paid meters by loading existing debts on the new system.

Back and forth accusations have been traded between the national power utility and its consumers over the issue of bills.

Electricity consumers, who include government, domestic consumers, industry and mining owe the power utility US$449 million in debts.

In order to recover the money, ZESA says it is going to embark on a massive roll out of pre-paid meters and will load existing bills onto the new system.

ZESA Group CEO, Engineer Josh Chifamba said defaulters are no longer going to evade paying the bills as they will be forced when buying electricity.

Commenting on the shambolic billing system, which is currently haunting the power utility company, Engineer Chifamba said by the end of this month, a new network system is going to be installed, with Harare and Bulawayo going to be the first ones to benefit.

On the first of this month, ZESA increased its tariffs by 31% in a move which has caused an outcry among the business community and domestic consumers.

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.