Harare City Council has got a genius plan where they use ZESA as a trojan horse to get residents who owe the city to pay their debts. The plan is yet to be approved and follows what ZESA have been doing with their debts from back when most people had postpaid meters.
Under the plan whenever residents who owe the council electricity make a purchase/payment to ZESA, some of the money they pay will go towards their city council debts instead of electricity units.
It’s not yet clear what percentage of this purchase amount will go towards paying the city council. Under the current rules for example, if a customer has a debt leftover from the postpaid meter era, whenever they purchase electricity 20% of the purchase amount goes towards this debt.
This means if you purchase a prepaid token for $100, you only get electricity worth $80 and the $20 goes towards your old debt. This way the debt is slowly paid overtime until you no longer have a debt. This is done automatically and has been so successful the council wants in on the arrangement:
We are owed a lot of money and we want to devise new ways of recovering that debt. Among the possibilities is that we may engage ZESA so that when somebody pays for electricity there is a certain percentage that goes towards our debt.
“You know how ZESA has done it before to recover what they are owed,Eng Chisango of the City Council speaking to the Herald
The city might use its own system
The city has said they will be rolling their own prepaid water system. If they fail to get a deal with ZESA they might just use that to recover what they are owed using the same principle as the one used by ZESA.