One would like to think that some preferential treatment from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply authority (Zesa) could be considered for the old and sometimes infirm but quite the opposite seemingly applies.
Comparing notes with other suburban residents from all parts of Harare, we appear to be targeted, both in terms of frequency and duration in power cuts.
Electrical power “outages” place a severe strain on our ability to cope with daily existence, more so because the water supply invariably goes off when there is no power. Living in darkness adds to the hazards we face and tripping, falling, banging into furniture and similar dangers become even more likely.
When I phoned to enquire about the reasons for the lack of power and the likely duration of the power-cut, the answer I was given was that it was load shedding and then I was given a vague prediction of the time power would be restored.
Of late, the power outages have been long, frequent and very depressing. Other suburbs on the other hand, have enjoyed full power or nearly so.
Sitting in the gloom during the power outages, I often mull over the situation and it has occurred to me that Zesa, particularly, appears to have no incentive to improve matters. I picture them simply shrugging and folding their hands in despair.
In light of this, I propose the introduction of a two-fold corrective measure to give incentive to the restoration of at least, an improved power supply to the long-suffering, paying public.
Firstly, I suggest a system of salary and allowance shedding whereby the management and board of Zesa (or whatever their top executives are called) has a self-imposed salaries and allowances cut in proportion to the failure to supply customers.
This cut should include the use of company supplied vehicles, fuel among other things. Secondly, I propose the cutting of supply to those who have not paid their accounts 45 days after issue of the account, as a priority.
The second measure assumes the ability of Zesa branches to accurately cite those who have not paid. If they are unable to do this, their heads of department should also be subject to the same sanction.
This letter is written with a sense of sheer frustration from a paid-up customer, now paying first world money for fourth world service!
For fear of even more victimisation, I sign myself,
Twilight zone dweller,