Martin Kadzere Senior Business Reporter
Government has dissolved the board of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company under unclear circumstances. Sources said the board, chaired by Ambassador John Shumba Mvundura was dissolved two weeks ago after having served for a year.
While no official comment could be obtained on the reasons for the dissolution of the board, speculation was rife that the Government was unhappy with the company’s decision to force thousands of customers owing the company at least $1 000 to pay $70 upfront before they can buy prepaid power tokens.
This was a shift from the 30 percent debt redemption policy where deductions were made for every purchase. ZETDC, a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings, has since reverted to the old system.
ZETDC said the changes, which had been implemented to the debt amortisation policy for customers owing more than $1 000 were reversed and the policy was being reviewed.
The affected customer categories included over 57 000 domestic customers on prepaid meters and almost 20 000 small business customers on the 3E platform, Zesa said.
“The dissolution of the board came as a surprise and the circumstances are still unclear,” said one source.
“But you cannot rule out the decision by the board to change the debt recovery policy. Just look at customers who could have been affected by the policy?”
Other board members affected are Mr Nicholas Ncube, Retired Brigadier-General Elasto Madzingira, Engineer Cletus Nyachowe, Ambassador Zenzo Willie Nsimbi, Retired Brigadier-General Gertrude Mutasa and Mrs Rebecca Chidziva.
Energy and Power Development Ministry permanent secretary Partson Mbiriri declined to comment yesterday, directing questions to energy minister, Dr Samuel Undenge who could not be reached by time of going to press.
Zesa is owed more than $1 billion by customers. ZETDC said it was planning for new strategies to collect about $80 million a month to recover the debt.