CHITREST in collaboration with the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe held a community dialogue meeting on the 4th of August 2017 at Young Africa Skills Centre. The meeting which was attended by an official from the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) started at 1000 and ended at 1300 hours. The aim of the meeting was to discuss matters affecting electricity distribution in Chitungwiza and other issues which needed clarification such as procedures taken to have electricity connection at new properties as well as load shedding schedules.
The participants consisted of 25 females and 28 males. Mr G. Chingosho from ZETDC Chitungwiza addressed the residents of Chitungwiza about the challenges of load shedding stating that the demand of electricity is excessive which then leads to faults on the plants. He also stated that ZETDC has made significant improvements in addressing the load shedding challenges. The two parties, ZETDC and the residents laid down their concerns and resolved to work together in combating challenges such as corruption, theft and vandalising of ZETDC infrastructure.
The meeting agreed that the residents of the Chitungwiza will have to create committees to safeguard ZETDC infrastructure and that ZETDC should consider introducing some form of incentives to those who are up to date in terms of their bills payment so as to motivate those that are in arrears to clear their debts. ZETDC was also encouraged to carry out awareness campaigns so that the citizens will have more knowledge on methods of conserving electricity and safety in the usage of electricity.
Finally, the participants agreed that ZETDC should attend to clients in time and the residents were urged to use formal ZETDC structures so as to reduce corruption in service delivery on electricity distribution in Chitungwiza.
The Chitungwiza Residents Trust (Chitrest) applauded ZETDC for being one of the few parastatals who have a feedback mechanism that is responsive to the needs of the people. Chitrest wrote a letter seeking clarification on infrastructure maintenance and repair procedures to ZETDC on the 15th of June 2017 and within a month, on the 14th of July 2017, a response was received by Chitrest.
The Chitrest in partnership with ZETDC is running a WhatsApp group as a way of facilitating easy communication between the service provider and the residents through this social media platform aimed at creating a channel for reporting faults and improving electricity distribution in Chitungwiza.
Officials from Chitrest ended by pledging to facilitate the continuous hosting of similar residents and service providers interface meetings with a view of contributing towards the improvement of social service delivery in Chitungwiza and Manyame rural.