We are in the middle of an especially wet rainy season and just like every summer there is a spike in ZESA faults because of the wet weather. Like any other institution in Zimbabwe ZESA is struggling to fix these faults with the few resources they have. Often ZESA has to triage faults and decide which they have to fix first. Members of the community have often complained that some ZESA personnel often demand bribes in exchange for them expeditiously attending to faults in a given area.

Residents of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, have raised alarm about the unethical and unprofessional practices of Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) staff. It has been reported that instead of fixing electrical faults free of charge, as is required, ZETDC employees have taken to demanding bribes in exchange for their services. This has sparked widespread outrage among the community and calls for the company to take action against its corrupt staff members.

Several individuals who were interviewed by Newsday revealed a litany of bribe cases. They said that ZETDC employees had often dragged their feet whenever they reported faults and were only spurred to action after residents had paid them bribes of various amounts. ZETDC employees are supposed to fix faults for free as part of the mandate to provide electricity to the public. They receive payment from the power utility which charges a tariff to provide power.

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The widespread corruption among ZETDC staff members has not only caused residents financial strain, but it has also put their safety and property at risk. It is imperative that the company takes immediate steps to address this issue and ensure that its employees are conducting themselves in an ethical and professional manner.

ZESA Holdings, the parent company of ZETDC, must take responsibility for the actions of its subsidiary and ensure that the trust and confidence of the community is restored. The provision of electricity is an essential service, and it is unacceptable for staff members to take advantage of their position for personal gain.

The ZETDC and ZESA in general have seen a slump in income because of power cuts. Most of the people in Zimbabwe have prepaid power meters. This means that every time there is a blackout in a given area ZETDC will not be making money as they will not be selling power. Taking too long to fix faults will mean that ZETDC will even have less money which further hurts the power utility and those employees’ jobs will be threatened.