THE Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) owes regional power suppliers US$66 million as of January 31, but the power utility has come onto the market today trying to raise another $20 bi
llion for its much-talked-about rural electrification programme.
Failure to settle bills on time has since forced the cash-strapped parastatal to seek government help on how to settle them.
According to Zesa’s regional creditors list, the parastatal owes five regional electricity power firms billions for services provided.
The highest debt for Zesa belongs to HCB of Mozambique which it owes US$29,6 million, followed by Eskom’s US$19 million while EDM of Mozambique is owed $8 million.
Zesco of Zambia is owed US$2 million while Snell of Democratic Republic of Congo is owed US$1 million. Zesa is currently battling to pay US$7,4 million, money it used for the procurement of “various spare parts”.
Eskom spokesperson Fani Zulu said since the beginning of the year, they have not met with Zesa officials despite the two parties’ contracts having expired last month.
Energy minister Amos Midzi confirmed that Zesa had since approached government for help to settle the debts, some of which have been outstanding for more than two years.
“It is a matter that Zesa has brought up quite recently (assistance in paying the debts). It is a matter that we are looking at,” Midzi said.
“The case is receiving its due attention.”
Midzi could not however be drawn into revealing when government proposed to help settle the outstanding debts, saying the matter was being “looked into”.
Zesa’s ballooning debt comes hard on the heels of Air Zimbabwe’s suspension from the International Air Transport Association (Iata) which is owed more than US$1,3 million.
Last week Zesa was scrounging for $10 billion from the money market by way of Megawatt Bills.