The ZESA portal is currently down as I write this. This is the fourth or fifth month end this has happened. During each first day of the month lots of people scramble to buy ZESA tokens and check how much they owe. The result is that systems like Ecocash get overwhelmed and in turn the ZESA backend that processes these tokens crumbles and sometimes goes offline leaving people stranded.

So you want to buy a ZESA token but their system seems down?

One thing to bear in mind is this: unless you have run out of electricity units or are about to run out there is really no need to buy electricity tokens today or during the first few days of the month! There is a myth that this is when electricity is cheap which has contributed to the scramble that causes the ZESA system to crash during the first few days of the month. Well it’s sort of true but here is the thing: the first units of electricity you buy are cheaper no matter when you buy them as long as they are the first you are buying during that particular month they will be cheaper.

The first units of electricity you buy for a given meter during any month are the cheapest. It doesn’t matter when you buy them so long as these are the first units you are buying for that meter.

One thing to note is that subsidies are tied to the meter and not individuals so only the first units bought for a meter are cheaper. If there are say two of you and your collegue/partner buys the first 300 units those are the cheapest units and even if you go on to buy for the same meter you will be charged a tariff of $4.61/unit. It doesn’t matter that it’s your first purchase as an individual.

Where to buy ZESA tokens

Usually when the ZESA system is down online methods of buying tokens don’t work very well in this case you should buy using online methods. This is usually the case during the first few days of the month when everyone wants to buy a token.

  1. Offline methods:
    1. ZESA offices this is the safest and most foolproof method but be prepared to wait in line although the lines are pretty short
    2. ZimPost offices again one of the oldest ways
    3. Supermarket tills. Most supermarkets process ZESA payments
    4. ZESA agents
  2. Online methods:
  3. Mobile Banking you can find the various USSD codes for each bank here
  4. Mobile money wallets:
    1. Ecocash
    2. Telecash
    3. OneMoney

Remember two thinks if methods 2-3 don’t work:

  • You don’t have to make the purchase today unless you have to, buying today will not save you more money than buying tomorrow would
  • You can always try the offline methods. These are guaranteed to work.