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BCC in bid to engage Zesa over debt cancellation

by Oliver Kazunga
14 Jul 2014 at 06:26hrs | Views
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) is seeking to offset part of the $47 million debt it is owed by Zesa, in return for cancellation of a $37 million debt the local authority owes the power supplier.

In an interview, Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo said the local authority had   already set up a taskforce to engage the power utility on a proposal to offset debts that the two institutions owe each other.

If the move is successful, it would see Zesa owing BCC $10 million while the local authority would have cleared its debt.

"We want to engage Zesa and come up with solutions to offsetting a $47 million debt that we are owed in return for cancellation of a $37 million debt that BCC owes Zesa.  However, that matter is quite delicate thus at this stage I cannot divulge much; let's allow the process to go through before saying it in the press," said Clr   Moyo.

"At technical level, we have come up with a taskforce to handle that matter and at the moment I am not privy to the arrangement, so I wouldn't want to say something that I am yet to be briefed on," he said.
Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira   could not be reached for comment    yesterday.

Bulawayo United Residents Association chairman Winos Dube commended the arrangement saying if successful it would go a long way in normalising relations between BCC and Zesa.

"If the arrangement is successful it will bring relief to ratepayers because if service delivery by BCC is compromised the cost will be passed on to the rate payers. It will also be a good idea as it will go a long way in normalising relations between BCC and Zesa," he said.

Early last year, the power utility switched off city council buildings, the  City Hall, Revenue Hall and the Tower  Block among others paralysing the cash-strapped local authority that had to resort to buying generators as it could not raise the required $21 million needed by Zesa at the time.

Tower Block, Revenue Hall and the City Hall are still powered by generators.

Source - Chronicle