ZIMBABWE Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri has ordered regional managers countrywide to stop power disconnections in compliance with a recent Government's directive.
Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma assured the nation that disconnections would be stopped pending the installation of prepaid meters.
However, consumers have raised concern over continued disconnections and accused the power utility's officials of demanding bribes for reconnections.
Eng Chinembiri yesterday urged affected consumers to either report directly to his office or approach regional managers.
"I have directed all our regional managers to comply with the Government's position.
"We have stopped disconnections and those with complaints are free to visit my office or to approach the regional managing directors for restoration.
"The minister has spoken and we have complied. The minister is our biggest shareholder and we cannot go against his word."
Eng Chinembiri said management would investigate the cases and ensure restoration of power.
He however urged consumers to pay their bills.
"Despite the directive, consumers should not take advantage and default paying their debts. Surely people cannot expect to relax and get electricity for free," he said.
While disconnections have reportedly been stopped, residents are facing challenges in power reconnection.
Harare Residents' Trust spokespeson Ms Regina Bakuri said: "Several residents in Warren Park D, Rugare and other suburbs who were disconnected before the Government intervened, have not yet been reconnected.
"The officers, especially those at Harare North offices are not co-operating. Residents are asked to pay at least half of the bill in order to get restoration of power," said Ms Bakuri.
Zesa's billing system is mainly based on estimates, resulting in some consumers refusing to pay saying they are too high.