On 27 May 2017, the Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust (CHITREST) in partnership with MISA-Zimbabwe held an Access to Information (ATI) meeting with Chitungwiza residents focusing on the need to have efficient and effective service provision by the Zimbabwe Electricty Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC). The meeting was a follow up on the previous engagements that ZETDC had with Chitrest. The meeting also discussed how infrastructure was being vandalised and stolen. The participants highlighted the need to educate community members on the proper processes and procedures of reporting faults within the ZETDC system.
The meeting was attended by 18 males and 12 females drawn from the 25 wards of Chitungwiza. The participants agreed on setting up security commitees to curb the increasing theft of oil from transformers, vandsalism of infrastructure and illegal connections. Mr Botomani a senior residents said it was important to have the residents to have a responsible mindset and protect the infrastructure.
The decentralisation of ZETDC offices and dissemination of information to the clients was also raised by the residents. Ommunity members were not aware of the justification in the recent increase in tarrifs, especially without consulting the residents on the payment plan. The participants suggested having district hotline numbers to have faults attended to in time. It was resolved that load shedding schedules be put up at every ZETDC station so that residents prepare for such power cuts.
The residents raised concerns of rampant corruption that has implicated some senior ZETDC officials. The corrupt tendencies has seen some households operating without paying tarriffs thereby prejudicing the service provider. The meeting also proposed that ZETDC shifts to smart meters rather than the current prepaid metering system which sometimes have challenges thereby inconviencing the consumers.
It was resolved that a follow up meeting with ZETDC officials be done while residents should also he meeting also name and shame any ZETDC officials who will be indulging in corrupt activities. A letter by Chitrest to the ZETDC raising these issues was submitted on 15 June 2017. Chitrest is yet to receive feedback for the matters raised in the letter submitted to ZETDC.
Below is the letter sent to ZETDC;