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BCC: 'Why are we not cutting off water supplies to Zesa?'

by Staff Reporter
09 Jan 2014 at 13:33hrs | Views
Bulawayo City Councillors are pushing for the local authority to cut water supplies at premises owned by power utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) which owes council $47 million in royalties and servitude charges.

Speaking during a full council meeting on Wednesday, some of the councillors queried why the local authority had not cut off water supplies at ZESA premises, when the power utility had switched off some of the council's main buildings which include the City Hall, Tower Block and Revenue Hall, the main nerve centres for council operations.

The councillors were discussing the report on finance and development committee. In the report council's finance director Kimpton Ndimande submitted a detailed layout of the financial status of the local authority.

"Councillor Collet Ndlovu observed that Council had huge debts to pay and owed ZESA a lot of money. In view of this he said that Council should identify alternative sources of power in order to reduce the ZESA bill. The use of solar power could also be examined.

"The Chairman (Councillor James Sithole) said that the monthly payments made to ZESA were not adequate to reduce the outstanding debt. Council should therefore examine the use of solar power and solicit for partnership in the project," read part of the report.

Clr Sithole in the report noted that Council owed ZESA $37 834 100, as of 31 October 2013 while the power utility owed council $47 million in royalties and servitude charges.

In 2011 ZESA disconnected electricity supplies to the council major buildings such as City Hall, Revenue Hall and Tower Block.

The local authority had to switch to diesel powered generators which are said to gobble thousands of dollars in fuel purchases.

Contributing to debate on the report, Councillor Ernest Rafamoyo asked his fellow councillors why the local authority was not cutting off water supplies at the power utility's premises.

"What are we doing with the debt owed to council by ZESA? Why we are not cutting off water supplies to their premises?" asked Councillor Rafamoyo.