By Savious Kwinika
The level of corruption and chaos at the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC), a subsidiary of Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), has left me shocked and in disbelief.
This follows my recent visit to Harare where I have a home.
Unsuspecting private companies, entrepreneurs and residents are at the mercy of the power utility, which is forcing them to pay to have their enterprises and residence connected.
Instead of freely connecting businesses and residences, ZETDC demands that residents and company owners buy poles and electric power lines.
Where has it ever happened that a supplier of goods and services charge the product before they are delivered? What kind of business ethics are these?
My tears nearly flowed cheeks when I saw unemployed parents being forced to pay poles for ZETDC in order to have the houses or stands in the capital city connected.
Apart from being made to buy poles for electricity lines, the unsuspecting new business owners and residents were also made to pay huge money for cables and meter boxes.
Without paying for these, there is no connection.
I have traveled across all Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, and have never witnessed such rot as the one at ZESA/ZETDC.
Some of these services charged by the Zimbabwe power utility are done freely across SADC countries because they always recoup their investment through monthly billing of power being consumed by users.
If one may ask, where is the monthly revenue generated from power bills by ZESA go? Those businesses and residents already connected pay their bills and tariffs have been doubled.
Where does the money go?
This is nonsense! This automatically disqualifies Zimbabwe as a destination that is ready and open for business
As business owners and residents, we pay taxes to the government. We pay for water connection, pay for poles, buy electricity cables, buy metered boxes and now pay ‘motivating’ bonuses to state-owned company ZETDC to give us electricity.
Sometimes as Diasporans we are left with no answers as to whether our leaders know what is happening in state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
Surely, if President Emmerson Mnangagwa wants to retain power in 2023, he must start acting now against these government entities coming with controversial policies that hinder his “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.
This rot at ZETDC must forthwith come to an end. No struggling entrepreneurs or residents should be taken advantage of by their own government.
Until some of these ANTI-STATE policies are dealt with, Zimbabwe will struggle to entice investors into the country.
These criminals at ZETDC must be arrested and replaced by right professionals with the interest of making Zimbabwe a middle-income economy by 2030.
Forget the corruptly and glaring acquisitions of residential and commercial land by land barons, mainly ZANU-PF.
This is rife in Crowhill, Southlea’s Odar Housing Development Consortium (OHDC), Norton, Stoneridge, Ushewokunze Housing Co-operative, Hopley, United We Stand Housing Co-operative, Chitungwiza, Epworth, Combined Manyame and Chitungwiza Residents’ Association.
These barons drive expensive cars and live in luxurious houses through ill-gotten wealth.
That is a discussion for another day.