Zimbabwe: Zesa Owed $5,6 Billion

Zesa is owed about $5,6 billion in both local and foreign currency, with local authorities owing $1 billion, Government $400 million and parastatals $189 million, and with the debt still rising.

This has seen the utility struggling to service its debts, particularly with foreign utilities who supply the required imports.

In a report to Parliament on the 2021 budget allocation to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development by the Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development, committee chairperson and Bikita West legislator Cde Elias Musakwa last week said the committee was concerned that the debt was increasing.

“The Committee noted with concern that the amount owed to Zesa by various customers has been increasing and currently stands at $3,2 billion for customers paying in local currency and US$30 million (approximately $2,4 billion) for those billed in foreign currency,” he said.

Zesa’s situation was worsened by the fact that the utility owed its own suppliers about US$90 million and was having difficulties servicing the debt.

“The debt accrued due to delays in effecting tariff changes in line with macroeconomic developments in the country,” said Cde Musakwa. “Zesa indicated to the Committee that an average tariff of US10 cents would enable the company to provide electricity whilst at the same time servicing its debt. The current tariff stands at US$7,73 cents.”

The ministry was allocated $1,64 billion for the 2021 financial year.

Cde Musakwa said the committee was concerned that Treasury had not released the full allocations to the Ministry.

“This trend implies that the Ministry’s activities also suffer from the failure by Treasury to timeously release funds allocated in the budgets,” he said.

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