Some Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Transmission Company (ZETDC) engineers who are coercing customers into paying non-existent pre-paid electricity meter installation fees now face investigations that could see them being dismissed from duty.
ZETDC is rolling out a pre-paid electricity metering programme to ensure customers pay for energy consumption and promote efficient electricity use.
The initiative was mooted after defaulting customers’ unpaid bills went over US$800 million.
So far, 480 000 meters have been installed countrywide.
Installation is free of charge since the company caters for all related costs.
Customers in parts of Harare complained that some cheeky ZETDC engineers were charging between US$3 and US$10 to install the meters. The engineers would, in some instances, threaten to debit the customers’ accounts with US$100 if they refused to pay.
There were also reports last week that some customers suddenly found US$127 debits on their first pre-paid meter tokens.
Highlands, Glen-View, Kambuzuma and Chitungwiza were among the affected areas.
Mr Lloyd Mashayamombe of Chitungwiza said, “Some engineers are demanding cash payments. They say failure to pay will see us being billed US$100 or more.”
Mr Fullard Gwasira — the spokesperson of ZETDC’s parent company, Zesa Holdings — said the utility was investigating the matter and those found guilty will be dismissed from duty.
He said additional charges appearing on customers’ tokens could be a result of a billing error.
“The prepaid meters are being installed for free, but we have received reports that some misguided elements are selling them to unsuspecting members of the public.
“ZETDC encourages members of the public to report anyone found selling or requesting payment,” he said.
Source: Sunday Mail