Zesa floats $10b Megawatt Bill


Godfrey Marawanyika

THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has floated a $10 billion Megawatt Bill which it hopes if fully subscribed, will help settle outstanding debts.


Zesa this week floated its 90-day Megawatt Bill whose offer opened and closed yesterday.


The offer was opened to various investors including pension and provident funds, insurance companies, life mutuals, and commercial banks.

Besides settling bills the sourced funds would also be used for procuring power imports.


Within the region Zesa imports its power from Eskom of South Africa and HCB of Mozambique.


However, last year Eskom classified Zesa as an interruptible customer because of its failure to settle its bills on time.


The latest floating of the Megawatt Bills comes against a backdrop of the expiry of a contract with Eskom at monthend which Zesa seeks to renew to ensure a continued supply of power to Zimbabwe.


As part of raising foreign currency to meet mounting debts, Zesa has since been given the greenlight by the central bank to charge exporters in foreign currency.


Although permission was granted, government is still to gazette the Statutory Instrument spelling out the modalities of the pricing system.


Concerns have been raised by several exporters on why Zesa has put a blanket pricing system, which does not distinguish between small and large exporters.


The permission was given in line with the Monetary Policy Statement that effectively means that Zesa like the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) are exempted from the Exchange Control Regulations of 2001.


The regulations make it illegal for local firms to quote or price their products in foreign currency.


Zimra is charging all foreign registered vehicles in foreign currency when they are paying carbon tax.